The weathers warming up, the girls are getting chatty in the mornings but the coop has the winter blues. To keep your chickens healthy it is imperative to regularly clean and maintain your chicken coop.
Animal nutritionist with Barastoc Poultry, Elise Davine suggests the following six steps for a clean coop
Take out anything that can be removed This includes feeders, drinkers, detachable perches. Many coops available on the market also have dividers in their nesting boxes and trays and flooring that can be taken out for ease of cleaning. These items might need to be brushed off, or if they're particularly dirty, cleaned in hot, soapy water and allowed to dry
Sweep out old bedding Remove damp litter or soil and replace it with clean, new material which will significantly reduce the risk of nasties like coccidiosis. Be careful to clean the edges and corners. This is a good opportunity to check over the hen house. Make sure there are no leaks, new gaps or faulty latches which might allow predators in at night, or any signs of rats or others pests.
Clean out the nesting boxes Clean out dirty nests and any droppings in the hen house. This is essential to minimise the risk of disease and fly problems. If your're going to use the manure on your garden, make sure you let it mellow in a composter first.
Sprinkle powder to kill mites and lice These powders are available for your local rural merchandise or pet store.
Put in new bedding Re-lay our bedding through the coop. You can use straw, wood shavings and other materials that are light and dry
Refill feeder and reassemble coop Make sure the feeder is out of the weather and out of areas where it is going to get droppings or water readily into it. Ensure all birds have free access to the feeder.
Extract from Small FARMS October 2019
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