I have a list of my must have tools for cleaning chicken runs and coops. Frugal chicken cleaning supplies are a must for the budget minded chicken owner. It does not have to cost a lot to clean and maintain a chicken coop and a clean coop produces healthier chickens and more eggs.
Let's go over how to clean your chicken coop. It does not cost a lot to gather a few supplies to maintain chicken pens and runs. Some of my supplies are from the dollar stores.
When you have a small chicken coop, but especially a small coop in a SMALL backyard, you need to keep things clean. I believe maintaining a clean coop is one of the primary responsibilities to keeping an urban chicken coop but especially to preserve our rights to keep chickens in city backyards and out of respect for our neighbors.
Now onto my favorite supplies for cleaning my chicken coop.
Rakes and shovels: I have a large, small and a hand held rake for cleaning up the coop and run. I use them almost daily. I use the shovel to move dirt as needed and fill holes the chickens have created.
Litter scoop: I use a metal kitty litter scoop to clean the litter from the coop daily. It takes minutes but keeps the coop nice and clean. I scoop up droppings a couple times a day when I pop into the coop to collect eggs or bring treats. I prefer to toss right in my compost which sits right next to the coop. I do not use a deep litter method because when you are keeping chickens in small yards I really do believe you do not have the luxury of putting the coop way out back. Many have to keep it away from the property line and controlling the flies and odor is important.
If flies are an issue read my post on how to get rid of flies in the chicken coop. You also might want to try Fly Predators. They are amazing.
A small plastic bin: I use one to collect debris for the compost bin and when I rake out straw from the hen house portion of the coop. I bought mine at the dollar store.
Cleaning brush: I use this to clean webs and dirt off the coop.
Gloves and mask: Of course my health is important too, so I use these when needed. Rubber gloves are used for scrubbing the coop and daily I use gardening gloves for cleaning up.
Long handled scrub brush: I use this when I do my twice yearly scrubbing of the coop. It reaches into the coop and is nice and sturdy.
Short handled scrub brush: I use this to clean waterers and on occaison I clean them with hot water and dish soap. I do not use bleach as the plastic tends to absorb the bleach odor.
Vinegar is great in hot water too with a bit of dish soap and I use this when I do my twice annual complete chicken coop scrubbing. In March and October we literally move the coop and I clean every inch of it and lay new sand on just the coop floor. The sides are swept of webs and then scrubbed and I pick a sunny warm day so I can hose it down if needed and it dries quickly.
Two to three times a year, we amend the soil in the coop by adding a bag of peat moss and a couple bags of organic planter mix or soil. Next a generous sprinkle of diatemaceous earth around the entire coop and run.
You can see how I use sand and straw in our own coop and hen house. There are benefits to both. I have yet to ever have an issue with any infestations or mites so I believe my system works.
When we looked at how to build a chicken coop and if you can have chickens in city limits, I knew keeping the space the chickens live, extra clean would have to be a priority. I make it a point to spend a few minutes every morning scooping up and putting fresh bedding down for the chickens. Keeping chicken droppings scooped up also helps to not step in it and then track that around when you leave the chicken coop. Our yard is small so I do not want to have chicken poop spread where we walk and play for health reasons.