Use my quick coop cleanup guide to stay on top of daily chores. Keep your flock healthy and happy by completing these simple jobs each day.
Having livestock or any animals means that there are chores. Just like having children or taking care of ourselves, there are plenty of tasks that have to get done daily. Excellent animal husbandry is the best thing that you can do to keep your pets or livestock healthy.
Why you should clean the coop daily.
Pests like insects, parasites, and flies can thrive in moist or unsanitary conditions. These same pests spread bacteria and disease as they move from surface to surface or animal to animal. It’s important to have a clean coop and I really strive to keep odors to a minimum. When you have a few chickens, that’s not too hard but as the numbers grow, so does the amount of poop!
I try not to get overwhelmed with a long list of chores by attempting to keep up with things daily. Of course, things come up like illness or activities that make it necessary to skip a cleaning step here or there but I’ve created a routine that helps me get things done quickly and efficiently each morning for the most part.
Personally, I could easily spend half the day, when I have the time, out in the coop and run just cleaning and sprucing. But let’s get real, that’s not always an option!
For now, we are raising only poultry so the routine here is relatively basic. I do think that it’s beneficial, however, to have some kind of task list in place to easily stay on top of things that should be done daily, weekly, monthly, and even quarterly when it comes to the care of animals.
For daily chores, I try to keep it simple. Some quick checks and routine maintenance items are easy to accomplish in only a few minute’s time. Keeping these few tasks done allows more time between deep cleaning days for me. Don’t forget to get my free printable Quick Coop Cleanup Guide at the bottom of this post! If you have kids doing chores from time to time, it’s really handy to have a visual checklist on hand.
Detailed Daily Quick Clean up
- Fill feeders- To begin chores, all the feeders need to be topped off with layer feed for the day. To prevent mice and insects, we try not to have much food (if any) left in the feeders each evening so we only add what the chickens and ducks will eat throughout the day.
- Empty and refill water containers- When it’s hot like it has been recently, our waterers need to be emptied and refilled daily. Many times just in one day the water can become stagnant from the heat. Also, we have ducks sharing the water. Ducks love ruining water with mud and food, it’s basically their full-time job!
- Scrape poop from the roost bars- This is as glamorous as it sounds. I use a rake or putty knife to scrape the poop from the roost bars and other surfaces. If you allow the poop to sit a few days it becomes hard as cement, not to mention the smell! I just scrape it off and let it fall to the coop floor for the time being.
- Turn the deep litter floor with a rake- After removing the poop from surfaces, I simply mix it in with the deep litter flooring. Keeping the litter turned regularly really helps eliminate smell and break down the droppings quickly. Also, once a week or so, I add a sprinkling of fresh barn lime before mixing the litter with a rake. The barn lime eliminates odors and keeps moisture at bay.
- Gather eggs- I gather eggs about twice daily. We suspected an egg eater in our flock at one time so removing eggs frequently works for us. I check about twice daily for eggs in the nesting boxes.
- Check for/Remove poop from the nest boxes- In the morning, I take a quick glance in the nesting boxes, looking for poop. No one likes getting poopy eggs! I just do a quick check so that I can be sure the nesting material is still clean for the girls.
- Walk the yard removing scraps/trash- Many times if we have leftovers or vegetable scraps, like carrot peels or a little cooked rice, I’ll bring them to the chickens after dinner. The next morning it’s a good idea for me to walk the chicken area and remove any scraps that were uneaten and pick up stray trash too.
Less Frequent Chores for Cleanup
Here’s a quick rundown of the chores that need to be done less frequently around the coop.
- Refill the grit and oyster shell bowls.
- Dust the coop and other areas with diatomaceous earth.
- Wash and sanitize feeders and waterers.
- Check the birds for injury, mites or poop around the vent.
- Remove all deep litter from the floor and replace.
- Hose down the interior of the coop as well as nest boxes.
These are just a few of the less frequent tasks that must be done in order to take good care of your poultry. I put together a handy printable list of tasks for quick reference. Get my guide to quick coop cleanup for daily and those less frequent chores so that you and your family can easily see what should be done each day in the coop.
I love to have something on hand to jog my memory. A printable checklist can also be really nice to have when you need someone else to care for your birds temporarily, maybe while you’re on vacation.
How to get your printable guide.
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Want more about chickens and their care? Check out all of my Backyard Farming posts in one place right here.