Today was an amazingly beautiful spring day here on the Front Range. I hope you had a chance to get out there and enjoy it. I definitely got out there, but not sure I can say I quite enjoyed it. Not completely anyway. It’s time for spring cleaning and that means one thing in a big way. Cleaning the chicken coop.
We use the deep litter method, which is layering shaving and/or hay when needed. As it breaks down, it creates some warmth, if you manage the moisture well. If it’s too moist it will begin to smell like ammonia. This is not good for their respiratory health and also becomes cold when the temp dips down.
So, it was a couple hours of shoveling out 1-2′ of layers. Fun times.
The one thing I make sure to do is sprinkle some diactomeous earth (food grade) on the floor under the fresh litter and in the corners of the coop. The next, is spray everything down with one of teo natural solutions i found on fresheggsdaily.com.
For treatment and prevention of mites I mix 2 cups water, 1 cup cooking oil and 1 tablespoon dish washing liquid in a spray bottle. This will help kill off the mites that leave the hens by suffocating them. I spray the roosts, and walls with this mix each day until I use it all.
Then I have a spray for the chickens to kill any mites they have and to prevent future mites. In another spray bottle I mix 10 ounces of water, 1 ounce of garlic juice, 1 teaspoon (total) any combination of these essential oils – bay, cinnamon, clove, coriander, lavender, spearmint and/or thyme. I keep this on hand to spray them weekly (when it isn’t cold out).
This has worked great and the coop smells clean and fresh from the chicken spray.
I also make sure the dust bath area is dry and add either diactomeous earth or wood ash from the fire pit to freshen it up. Keeping both the coop and the girls clean is important to their happiness and well-being.
Now with that done, I can enjoy some low maintenance time watching the girls do their thing knowing that their home is in order.