Ah, the sweet refreshing smell of the chicken coop. NOT! However, we can change that stench to something much more pleasant and we don’t have to get rid of the chickens to do it. Are you ready? Let’s do it.
Safety first. Remember, you love your chickens and you want the very best for your gals, however, they stink. They’re not the tidiest of pets and they won’t even bathe unless it involved dirt. Talk about soiled birds! With all of the dust, dirt, and poop, you’ll also get some creepy crawlers and bacteria. Yuck!
Left untreated, and without proper sanitation and hand washing techniques, you can become ill from the chickens. Here are a few disease that your dear gals can transmit to you:
Wow! These sound really serious and it’s kind of scary to think that you could become ill thanks to your egg laying friends. Remember, information is powerful. Don’t bleach the chickens, don’t freak out, don’t butcher them all and put them in the freezer, there is help.
First and foremost, always use proper and thorough hand-washing after gathering eggs and after doing anything near your chickens. Make sure that the kids use proper hand-washing techniques as well. Use “on Guard” essential to ensure that all of that bacteria is gone.
Keep the coop clean. This is vital. The goal isn’t to get rid of 100 percent of the germs, however, we must get rid of the harmful bacteria.
Every few months I tell the gals it’s time to do a serious cleanup. Not that they cooperate, but, they do allow me to do this. I use a homemade spray that will disinfect, de-cobweb, eradicate the bad germs and de-bug their abode. This spray not only makes their home smell great, it also works to eradicate all of the above-mentioned issues.
This spray works year round and it’s easy on the senses. Use it whenever you deep clean or whenever the smell gets to you.
Here is what you’ll need:
1 large sized spray bottle
Clean water (don’t use the horse-trough to fill this)
15 drops of each of the following essential oils:
Typically, I use nearly the entire bottle every time I mix this up on my medium sized chicken coop. If you’re not going to use as much, be sure to store this in a dark glass spray bottle so that your oils won’t disintegrate and degrade.
Why I chose these oils:
Lemon has the ability to clean and purify the air and the surfaces that it’s sprayed on. The aroma is uplifting and energizing and might help to improve the mood (of both my gals and me).
It also cleanses the body and helps with digestion. It helps to encourage a healthy respiratory system and it also helps with seasonal allergies. It promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract as well.
Lavender not only smells great, it’s very soothing and calming and helps to reduce skin irritation. It eases tension.
Melaleuca is renowned for the ability to cleanse and rejuvenate your skin. It improves the immune system and it protects you against the environment and seasonal threats. It can help to purify and freshen the coop. Diffuse it to purify and refresh the air. Melaleuca also works well to support your respiratory function.
Fill your bottle half full of the vinegar and half full of water. Add in your essential oils and shake well.
When I do the deep cleaning, I let the gals out to enjoy some free range time and get to work. I remove all the old bedding and shavings and clean out all of the cobwebs. I sweep the floor and then I spray down the entire coop including all of the roosting poles, the nesting boxes as well as the floors and the ceiling and walls. I allow the coop to air dry and then I put in fresh bedding and shavings. By mid to late afternoon, the coop is ready for the gals to return. It smells wonderful but be sure that it’s aired out before you put your gals back in for the night.
Oddly, there hasn’t been a lot of research on whether or not chickens can smell. Some believe that they can smell just as humans can. I’m not really sure so I always air the coop out after I’ve cleaned it and allow it to dissipate a bit before I put the gals back in. So far, they’ve never complained about the smell nor have the balked about going back in. I’m taking that as a sign that they appreciate a clean abode.
Now that you know how to clean your coop you can relax and enjoy the rest of your day. Voila!