How to Properly Clean a Chicken Coop thumbnail image

How to Properly Clean a Chicken Coop

A clean chicken coop is essential for your birds’ health and comfort and is integral to your chicken-keeping duties. That’s why keeping it clean and hygienic for your birds to live, rest, and play in is so important. It will keep your flock healthy and free of diseases and keep the area where you care for your chickens and collect eggs every day pleasant.

Remember, a dirty chicken coop becomes uncomfortable for your birds and can attract pests like rodents, insects, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other pathogens that can also affect humans.

If you plan on keeping chickens of your own, pay attention to these steps for properly cleaning a chicken coop. We’ll provide a step-by-step process on how to clean a chicken coop, from gathering supplies to maintaining cleanliness. So grab your gloves, put on your cleaning hat, and let’s dive in!

What Do You Need to Clean a Coop?

Before we get down and dirty with chicken coop cleaning, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sturdy gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Protective eyewear
  • Cleaning brush or broom
  • A rake
  • A shovel/scoop
  • A dustpan
  • A bucket/garbage bag
  • A garden hose/pressure washer
  • Non-toxic disinfectant
  • Vinegar/bleach
  • Water
  • A sponge
  • Fresh chicken coop bedding material

Step By Step Guide to Cleaning a Chicken Coop

Having gathered the necessary supplies, it’s time to start the work. Remove any objects or obstacles near the coop that might hinder your cleaning process. You also need to secure your chicken. Handle them carefully while moving them to temporary housing. The temporary housing should provide ample space, enough food, and water.

Step 1: Remove All the Bedding and Droppings

To start your chicken coop cleaning process, remove all the chicken coop bedding and droppings. You’ll need to remove any dirt, straw, feathers, hay, wood shavings, or other nesting materials that may have been used as bedding. Use a brush or broom to gently sweep away loose feathers from the coop’s floor, perches, and nesting boxes.

Use the shovel to scoop them out and put them in the bucket or garbage bag to throw away later. Hard-edged tools, such as a paint scraper or square shovel, work best against stubborn messes.

Use a rake to remove the soiled bedding material from the coop. While raking, watch for any signs of pests or parasites. If you spot any, take appropriate measures to address the issue.

Ensure you’re thorough—the more you get rid of now, the easier the rest of the process will be.

Step 2: Remove Other Materials from the Coop

A chicken coop has essential equipment that enhances chicken comfort and safety. Remove perches, feeders, roosts, and waterers for easier chicken coop cleaning. Remove any bedding, feathers, or eggs from the nesting boxes. Discard any damaged or soiled eggs.

Step 3: Scrub the Walls and Floors

Once you have cleared out all the bedding, debris, and other materials, it’s time to scrub your chicken coop walls and floors. First, use the broom to sweep the walls and floors to remove as much dry material as possible.

Use a non-toxic disinfectant and a scrub brush to clean all surfaces. You can mix equal parts of vinegar and water to create a disinfectant solution (use it if you haven’t purchased chicken disinfectant). You can also use water and bleach to make your disinfectant solution.

Scrub away any dirt, grime, or dried chicken droppings. You can additionally use a hand brush or thick-bristled broom to scrub for any remaining droppings, stains, dirt, or debris. Don’t forget to clean hard-to-reach areas where bacteria and pests can accumulate. You can use a toothbrush or small brush to get into those tight spots. Ensure to get into all the corners and crevices, as these areas often attract pests.

After scrubbing, thoroughly rinse all surfaces with a garden hose or pressure washer. Ensure you get rid of any remaining debris and the last of the disinfectant solution. Look for mold or leftover litter, which can hide from a general hose-down. You can sweep out any standing water and get it ready for round two, which is disinfecting the coop.

Step 4: Disinfect the Coop, Rinse (and Repeat)

After scrubbing the walls and floors, it’s time to disinfect the coop. Select a disinfectant specifically formulated for use in poultry housing. Make sure it is safe for chickens and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Apply the disinfectant to the walls and floors, ensuring it covers all surfaces. You should focus on areas prone to bacterial growth and apply even more disinfectant. Allow sufficient contact time as recommended by the product. After the recommended contact time, thoroughly rinse the disinfectant and any leftover stains throughout your coop.

You can take this time to clean other coop equipment, such as feeders, waterers, and nesting boxes. Use a brush or scrubbing pad to thoroughly clean the nesting boxes. Pay attention to corners and hard-to-reach areas. Leave the space to dry completely.

Step 5: Address Structural Maintenance

Cleaning is also an opportunity to inspect and address any structural issues in the coop. Check for any holes, cracks, or damaged areas in the coop’s walls, roof, and flooring. If you find any damages, repair them using appropriate materials. Patch holes, seal cracks, and reinforce weak areas to prevent drafts and keep pests out.

Proper ventilation within the coop allows adequate airflow, which helps regulate temperature, reduce moisture, and prevent ammonia buildup. Check for leaks and ventilation issues on all surfaces and address them promptly to prevent further damage.

Step 6: Lay Fresh Bedding

Once your entire coop and feeding equipment are clean and completely dry, it’s time to lay down fresh bedding for your flock. Evenly distribute a layer of fresh bedding material on the coop’s floor.

Choose an absorbent, comfortable chicken coop bedding material for the chickens. The bedding materials should be clean and dry. Some appropriate options include straw, hay, wood shavings, and shredded paper.

Step 7: Put Everything Back Together

Once the bedding is all in place, it’s time to put the coop back together. Place back any items you had removed during the cleaning process, i.e., the perches, roosts, or nesting boxes. For the nesting boxes, you can also fill them with new, clean chicken nesting pads. Provide enough depth for the chickens to nest comfortably. Ensure the nesting boxes are secure and easily accessible for the chickens.

Now, bring your chicken back to a new, fresh home, offering a clean, dry space to lay their eggs and spend the rest of their days.

How Often Should You Clean a Coop

Establish a regular cleaning routine to ensure your chickens have a healthy and clean environment. How often you can wash it will depend on the type of your chicken coop. Experts recommend a light cleaning every week to remove accumulated droppings and feathers and check for any visible issues.

Plan for a more thorough cleaning every month or as needed. This involves removing chickens, emptying and cleaning nesting boxes, and scrubbing surfaces.

Tips for Efficient Chicken Coop Management

You should repeat the cleaning process as many times as necessary to give your birds a fresh, clean home again. If you don’t clean your coop daily, try the tips below to keep the chicken coop clean for longer. You’ll be able to maintain a clean and comfortable home for your feathered friends.

  • Adjust to a flexible cleaning schedule: You can remove any visible chicken droppings and check the water and feeders daily. Make any necessary adjustments or replacements in the coop during your daily routine.
  • Observe pest control measures: Regularly inspect the coop for signs of pests such as mites, lice, or rodents. Use pest control treatments or seek advice from a professional pest control service as necessary.
  • Consider safety at all times: Prioritize your own safety as well. Wear sturdy gloves to protect your hands from dirt, debris, and potential bacteria. A dust mask and eye protection may also be useful, especially when dealing with dry or dusty areas.
  • Observe proper waste disposal: Collect the removed chicken coop bedding material, droppings, and other organic waste to create nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Ensure proper composting practices to maintain a healthy balance.

After cleaning the coop, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of bacteria or potential diseases. Dispose of non-compostable waste, such as damaged eggs, in a designated waste area or according to local regulations.


Cleaning your chicken coops is an important part of your chicken-keeping duties. It helps keep your birds healthy and reduces the risk of disease. Clean the droppings and debris regularly, and keep the coop ventilated. You can also use natural deterrents to help keep pests away.

At Stromberg’s Chickens, we have everything you need to set up and maintain a healthy, happy flock. Get started in your own backyard with our range of chicken coop supplies, feeders, waterers, baby chick starter kits, and more.