The quality of the cleaning of a chicken coop has direct consequences on the health of the hens. Even if your chickens are hardy and belong to breeds known to be disease resistant, barn hygiene is essential. Regular cleaning guarantees a long life for your hens while limiting bad odors. In chicken farming, it is undoubtedly the cleaning and disinfection of the henhouse that are the most restrictive tasks. Also, here we give you 5 tips for effective cleaning and disinfection.
Tip # 1 – Choose a spacious chicken coop
If you have not yet designed your chicken coop, anticipate cleaning and disinfection to make the right choices. Indeed, a henhouse that is easy to clean and disinfect is first and foremost a henhouse in which you can slip in order to access every nook and cranny. A good cleaning takes time, and you should be able to do the necessary things without breaking your back. Otherwise, you will have only one desire: to shorten your work and space your interventions. Thus, choosing a fairly spacious henhouse will allow you to carry out quality cleaning that will benefit your hens and your wallet, since the expenses that you will have to incur for your hens will be all the more reduced. In addition, good ventilation, which promotes hygiene in the henhouse, will be easier to implement.
Tip 2 – Adapt the frequency of cleaning the chicken coop
The chicken coop does not need to be cleaned from top to bottom every week.
Here is the cleaning schedule that you can set up:
- Every day, removal of excrement by scraping the surface of the litter;
- Once a week, complete renewal of the litter in the henhouse (you can use it as a natural fertilizer in your garden), washing and disinfection of the soil, feeders, perches, the excrement drawer (if you have one), the nest, etc. . ;
- Once a year, proceed to the crawl space (see tip 3) which is the only way to completely get rid of bacteria and parasites.
Tip # 3 – How to properly crawl the crawl space
The crawl space consists of thoroughly cleaning the entire henhouse, from floor to ceiling the henhouse, without forgetting anything: wall, floor, roof, equipment, doors and hinges …
This operation is preferably done at the very beginning of May because it requires keeping the hens out of the henhouse for the duration of action of the disinfectant, ie about three weeks. In the industrial environment, this is the period in which breeders sell chickens. Individuals must ensure that the hens are safe throughout this time and have a sheltered space in the event of bad weather.
The chicken coop should be completely emptied so that you can clean every square inch with a pressure washer, inside and out.
Apply the disinfectant (see tip 4). The application must be done with a sprayer to avoid runoff which will limit the quality of the disinfection. To be effective, it must be homogeneous.
In the same way, clean all the accessories and installations that you have been able to dismantle. Use a stiff brush to loosen stubborn residue.
Let it dry and wait at least three weeks for the disinfectant to work.
Take the opportunity to check the solidity of the wooden parts. Change the damaged parts, and then treat the whole by applying one or two coats of linseed oil. This will make the wood more weather resistant. The application is made after disinfection and complete drying of the hen house.
Once the processing is complete, you can put everything back in order.
If one of your hens is sick, do not put it back in the henhouse: set it apart in quarantine, while it heals.
Tip # 4 – Choose the right disinfectant
Since your hens are placed outside the coop, you can definitely use bleach. It is the product whose action is the most complete since it is at the same time bactericidal, sporicidal, fungicidal and virucidal.
White vinegar is another alternative option but you should be aware that its effectiveness is much lower.
If you want a less “aggressive” solution than bleach, a product based on pyrethrum is a better option than white vinegar. It is a plant substance, a natural insecticide, particularly effective against red lice.
Among the natural products, diatomaceous earth remains the most effective insecticide. Its action has a much broader spectrum than pyrethrum because it is effective against fleas, lice, ticks and mites. This earth exists in two forms: calcined and uncalcined. You must be careful to use the uncalcined form as the other is toxic to the hens. The white version is preferred over the gray because its efficiency is greater on the outside.
Tip # 5 – Do not wait to clean the chicken coop in case of an alert
If you notice an insect or pest invasion, if you suspect one, or if the temperatures or humidity are high, don’t waste time sprinkling diatomaceous earth on all surfaces of the chicken coop, not neglecting not the nooks and crannies. It is also effective as a preventive treatment.