How do you find a balance between a moderate germaphobe and the keeping and cuddling of backyard chickens? Clean handling measures of our chickens out back is a priority for me. I want us to be able to hold and handle our chickens, but I also want to keep the family and especially the little one who hangs out in the coop safe from the germs chickens can carry, namely salmonella.
Keeping the coop clean is also a way to keep the poop traffic down. We have special shoes we only wear in the coop. I love sand on the coop and run floor because it helps the chicken poop to dry quickly. I use an old kitty litter scoop to pick up and remove chicken waste. I always wear gloves when doing any cleaning in the coop as well. I do not wash chicken waterers or feeders in my home either. I wash them outside and rinse with the hose.
Daily, I do check and make sure the nesting boxes are clean of any chicken poop. Usually they are clean but you can get some tracked in there by your chickens. As we collect eggs, if they are clean, we do not wash them as eggs are laid with a protective coating that seals eggs but if they are soiled at all we gently wipe them off with a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator.
Having a small flock I think is easier to clean up after I am sure, and especially necessary because I have a small urban backyard for chicken keeping. These are just safety measures we practice to safely house and keep chickens in a small urban setting.