Pro Tips For a Cleaner Hen House
So, What are the top pro tips for a cleaner hen house? One of the best practices in poultry farming is maintaining a healthy environment around the chickens. This practice helps me to minimize performance challenges while maximizing productivity. After all, I believe that cleaning and disinfecting my hen house are essential to my chickens’ health. To achieve this goal, I use a few helpful tips to keep my chicken coops clean and safe throughout.
What are the top pro tips for a cleaner hen house? To have a clean hen house, you need to apply a few helpful tips. These tips include cleaning the roosting and laying areas, clearing the walkways, repairing, spraying, and fumigation.
The best time to carry out your cleaning routine is usually during spring. This is the period after a long winter and before the onset of the summer season. At least you can clean and disinfect your poultry facilities for the sake of your birds. Decontaminating your chickens’ coop is important because it prevents the spread of diseases and pests. These elements are responsible for causing various poultry health problems. So, cleaning your poultry house once a year is not a bad idea at all.
Successful cleaning entails hard work and systematic completion of different sequential steps. Each step is crucial in one way or the other. Ignoring or skipping one step at any given time will make your work incomplete and less effective. With that in mind, let’s go through 7 pro tips for a cleaner hen house.
Top Pro Tips For a Cleaner Hen House
1. Start By Dry Cleaning
Before you get down to real cleaning, remove all chickens from their coop. Also, ensure that all poultry equipment inside the coop is taken out for cleaning separately.
Once the chicken house is empty, start sweeping or blowing dust including loose dirt. Make sure that you sweep every corner and blow all dirt from walls, light fixtures, and ceilings.
When you are done with this important task, collect all dirt into a small heap on the floor. Then get rid of chicken feed from feeders.
Scrape manure and other accumulated dust/dirt from roosts and perches. Don’t forget to remove and dispose of all dirt from the floor. Take this litter to the compost pile to make organic manure for farming.
In case you spot any dry material on the floor, sweep again to make it free of dust and dirt. If your coop is small, you may use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to remove tiny and sticky dirt from surfaces.
2. Proceed to Wet Cleaning
Wet cleaning is a little different from dry cleaning. From their names, you can easily tell that one of these cleaning methods uses water to remove dirt and this is wet cleaning.
Before you start this procedure, turn off the power in the entire building to avoid getting electrocuted. This is the first safety measure that you should always apply when wet cleaning your poultry house.
Wet cleaning involves three major steps which are soaking, washing and rinsing. For better cleaning, you may use hot or warm water and not cold water. In addition, you can use a powerful but neutral detergent such as dish soap to eliminate germs.
Here are the three steps that you need to consider when wet cleaning:
Soak all soiled places inside the coop (roosting and perching areas, floors and so on) for a while. This will help loosen dirt for easier cleaning. Reach out for a pressure sprayer and use it to soak all surfaces. Give the soaked surfaces a little time to soften the accumulated dirt for easy washing.
After you are done with soaking, the next step should be washing the surfaces. Make sure that you cover all surfaces including ceiling trusses, window sills, and other surfaces within the coop.
Your washing solution should be an alkaline detergent or a neutral detergent. However, you should be very careful when working with alkaline detergents. These substances can cause internal injuries if you ingest them or burn your skin. For that reason, you must consider using mild or moderate alkali as your solution when washing the coop.
On top of that, use a pressure sprayer to make your washing effortless and timeless. Or you may just opt for manual scrubbing using a stiff brush if you cannot afford a powerful pressure sprayer. Inspect every section of your poultry house to ensure that all dirt is removed.
After washing, you must do the rinsing immediately to get rid of any harmful residues and obtain spotless surfaces. Mop up all puddles of water to discourage the breeding and spread of pathogens such as salmonellae. Then dry and disinfect the coop before allowing your chickens to get in.
3. Repair All the Broken Places
Check every section of your chicken coop for any damages. If you find any structure in bad shape repair it immediately before carrying out other tasks. Seal all entry points for predators starting from the inside and finishing with outside the coop.
Inspect the area around your chicken coop to ensure that this structure is predator-proof. If you come across a weak link in the fence, fix this problem as soon as possible. This is important because your birds will spend most of their time in a safe environment.
4. Clean the Egg Laying Place
Your layers deserve a clean place to lay their eggs. The same applies to you when collecting eggs. No one feels comfortable when picking eggs from dirty nest boxes. In this regard, you should make a routine clean up for all nesting boxes and their surroundings.
Dirty nesting boxes can deter your hens from laying eggs comfortably. This problem can have a negative impact on egg production.
When cleaning these egg-laying areas, you should use special tools such as garden hoes. With this equipment, you can easily pull out dirty bedding and discard it far away. This task will take you a short time. Then place fresh bedding materials inside the nesting boxes for your birds to feel comfortable and secure when laying.
5. Control Insects
Another way of maintaining the environment inside the coop is by controlling insects. If you don’t eliminate these tiny creatures they might make your birds unforgettable or spread diseases. So, the earlier you start getting rid of them the better.
When controlling insects, wear appropriate protective clothing to keep yourself safe from harmful chemicals. Start by spraying your poultry house from inside using a locally recommended insecticide.
Carry out this task as soon as you remove your flock from the coop. Also, do it when the coop is still warm. Repeat the spraying until you are sure that all insects are under control. Finish this task by fumigating the entire coop before letting your flock of chickens back in it.
6. Clean Feeding and Watering Systems
One of the most effective top 7 pro tips for a cleaner hen house is by cleaning feeding and watering systems. This process involves draining, cleaning and disinfecting the water systems.
Reach out to the water pipes and clean them to remove all biofilms that build up over a long time. If you feel that physical cleaning is a challenge to you, use high-level chemicals such as chlorine.
Using clean water, flush water lines before the flock replacement. Wash, dry and disinfect feeding equipment. Empty large bins including connecting pipes. If possible, fumigate water and feeding systems to make them free of pathogens.
7. Disinfect the Chicken House
Actually, you should disinfect the coop after the rising. This is a very important step which most small flock owners overlook.
You can apply the disinfectants using aerosols, sprays or fumigants. Whichever of these can work best for you. But don’t feel intimidated by the idea of fumigating your chicken coop even if you have a small flock. On the other hand, you can use a garden sprayer to accomplish this task.
There are different types of disinfectants on the market today. Most of these products have been formulated for spraying chicken houses and other poultry facilities. Before you start using any of these chemicals, read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions.
How often should you clean your hen house? It is a good idea to clean your hen house at least once a week. This applies to the general cleaning of the coop. But it’s crucial to do some cleaning after a short time to prevent piling up of the chicken poop.
How Long should it take you to clean the chicken coop? The time it should take you to finish cleaning your chicken house depends on the size of your flock. On average, it should take you fifteen minutes from start to finish if you have the right equipment and materials.
There you have it, the top 7 pro tips for a cleaner hen house. All these tips are helpful and can help you keep your flock healthy and happy all the time. Make sure that you take seriously each tip when cleaning your chicken coops. If you do it right and routinely, you will definitely reap great benefits from your flock.
Below is a Pinterest-friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!