The duck and chicken coops get cleaned once a week, but a deep clean a couple times a year will help keep pests and disease at bay. Our weekly cleaning process involves raking out used bedding, cleaning out food and water dishes, refilling grit and oyster shell, and laying down fresh dry bedding. Dirt and grime builds up over time though, so this twice annual deep clean will help your flock stay healthy.

I pick a dry day in the fall and one in the spring for the cleaning. The birds all get to free-range while I go to work. The first step is to remove the bedding and anything moveable (food and water dishes, nesting boxes, etc). Next, hose everything down and scrub the surfaces to loosen any built-up debris.

After this first part, I let everything air dry for an hour or so. It’s good to get a lot of air circulation into corners of the housing, so I leave all the doors, gates, etc. wide open. I treat the birds to some extra yummy food scraps out in the garden to keep them distracted.

Once dry, I spray and wash everything down with white vinegar. It is a simple, natural germ fighter killing mold and bacteria. I let is seep into the cracks in the walls, floors and into the nesting boxes as well.

Freshly cleaned hen house

When the vinegar has dried, I replace the food and water dishes back into the coop and lay new bedding down. Supplies are all stocked and the birds can once again return to their cozy coops.

Freshly cleaned chicken coop

It’s a great time of year to do a deep clean on your chicken and duck housing, especially while the weather is still nice. Take this opportunity to check your birds over carefully to make sure they are in top physical health. Winter weather usually keeps us inside longer, which can make it harder to spot problem signs with your flock. Happy cleaning!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson