Clean chicken house!

runningtrailsJanuary 30, 2009

I spent a few hours this morning cleaning out the chicken house litter. It was deep, damp, packed down and had been smelling like amonia for a couple of weeks. It desperately need stirring up and drying out. It gets wet somehow, probably from my snow covered boots and the slightly leaky waterer. It is frozen solid a lot in the winter, but today is a bit warmer, so it had thawed. I scraped the solid chunks up off the floor and took about 5 wheelbarrels full to my manure pile. I had to shovel out the snow in front of the chicken house and put down some boards over the snow for the wheelbarrel to roll on. It worked well. Here's today's pile:

It's beside and on top of the previous manure piles which are now covered with snow.

Here's the chicken house I want to paint. Both sides face the road.

Here's the clean chicken house with new litter. I used an old bag of the big shredded computer paper. I usually use the twice cross cut stuff but am out of it right now. They are used to this stuff too and are all big adults.

These are the nesting boxes

And here's another pic of the new clean floor. They love it and started chirping and scratching around in it immediately.

It sure felt good to get that job done! It had been hanging over me for a ocuple of weeks now.

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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

That's always a good feeling isn't it?

We spent yesterday cleaning the snow (many feet) out of the part of the run that isn't covered! What a job but now it's done and it feels great!

Your hens look very happy too!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Ours is due soon, too, only we can't get out to our compost pile until more snow melts. Yup, it's a lot of work!

I've always wondered how well the shredded paper works, how often do you have to change it?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 8:22PM
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I like it a lot. I have used the shredded paper since the end of August. I add more on top weekly or even more often, and clean it all out about once every 6 weeks approx. It's stays dryer in the summer and so doesn't need to be emptied as often and gets mixed in more. The damp stuff packs down in the winter, freezes and doesn't compost as well.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:26PM
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Is your chicken house built from old semi sides?Insulated and aluminum.It looks a lot like mine from them.I use shredded leaves and sawdust for litter and it works good but with 14 chickens sure does need to be cleaned out more often.I love it in the garden.I did some lasagna gardening last year with it on top of sod with newspaper underneath and that worked pretty good too.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:55PM
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It was already there when we came, complete with perches and nesting boxes. I rounded off the edges of the perches and secured them to the wall more, but it's essentially the way we found it. I moved the nesting boxes to a different location and put 1x6 boards around the bottom inside to keep out other critters. I cut a window in it last summer for ventilation. It has about 4" of inuslation between the inside and outside walls. I'm picking up four more small windows today and will install two in each house this spring. There are two houses, side by side, with a connecting hallway, but we only use one house right now for the chickens. Lots of room to expand our flock or put rabbits or ducks/geese in the other one. It is handy for dry, clean storage though. I'm leaning towards raising rabbits for food but I want a pond with some ducks on it, too.

There is another single shed just like theses two and previously used for pidgeons, I think. It's at the back of the property but it has a dropped ceiling that is falling down and a rotten floor and a leaky roof. I want to take the floor out altogether, take out the drop ceiling and fix the roof but that's a lot of work. Something has nested in the ceiling, not sure what it is, probably mice? Anyway, it's not a nice job so I haven't done anything with it yet. However, it is right beside the area where I want to put the pond, so I could keep ducks and geese in there, if I ever get to it. Its on a very long list of "things to do this year".

I think I'll start a summer farm/garden "plans for this year" thread...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:59AM
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Looks alot my chicken house! Except your's is quite a bit cleaner! Mine seems to have been designed for slender little girls to work in, I am neither slender, nor a little girl.
I think I have to cut a section out of the rear wall just so I can get in there and clean it!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:50AM
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The roosts in this house go right across the center of the room. It's very inconvenient and makes cleaning the other side difficult. If I have time in the spring, I am going to move them closer to the wall.

I have not yet gotten their pen shovelled out so that they can use it. That's another job waiting to be done. I did put some new perches in there, but they haven't been out there since the snow fell in Nov. They have been able to free range a little bit on nice days, though. I shovelled a path for them to go under the deck where the snow doesn't fall, last month, but it's all snowed in again now.

I might look at shovelling out their pen soon.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:17PM
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Nice job!

Here is a link that might be useful: [The City Chicken](
    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:53PM
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what are you going to paint on the coop? I know it is going to be something good and I can't wait to see it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 9:57PM
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I am going to paint a giant and colorful rooster. I have a picture of a painting someone has done that I want to use as a reference. Lots of colors. I have all but the really true red comb and wattle paint. I'll need to buy some of that colour, but I need it for the arm on my mailbox anyway. I have to wait until it is above 50 F and dry before the paint will dry and that won't be for awhile yet - and I have the time, probably after spring planting is done.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 10:04PM
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that sounds awesome. Right now the cold weather is holding me up too. So many ideas, not enough good weather or hours of sunshine when I get home from work. one thing I love about the longer and warmer days is the amount of time I have to dedicate to outside activities. Right now I come home, run in the coop, collect eggs, clean up what I can, put the poop in my compost bin, put out fresh water, feed the goats, give them fresh water and then get my butt in the house and thaw out. I think my goats are mad at me because they don't get to play with me like we did when it was warm.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 10:35PM
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The severe cold keeps me indoors too. I can work outside if it's above zero F, but anything below that is just too cold for me to stay out in for very long, about 30-45 mins tops. My new "farm" boots are suppose to be good for -40 but the rest of me gets too cold. It's going to be warm today (55F) but rain all day. What good it that? It will wash away the snow and ice from the driveway, but I can't do a lot outside in the cold rain.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:43AM
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Are you going to paint one of your own roosters or a cartoon type? You were lucky to get that shed/coop already in place. Lots of houses I was looking at had them on the property too but of course when I brought my place it was one of the few that did not have one. I had fun building my own though.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 2:10AM
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I would love to build a small cabin somewhere. (Future plans). I am going to paint a real rooster, not a cartoon one, but also not mine. I want it to have lots of bright and dark colors.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:54AM
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well remember to post. I can't wait to see it

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:19PM
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Jeff cleaned the trays under the cages yesterday-this is pure chicken poo no bedding. There is 2 days worth in this pile-will be adding 5 more days. Will compost it for the gardens. Usually it is spread onto the lawn with small amounts of polverized lime mixed in.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 11:38AM
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OMG Seramas 2 days??? unbelievable!!

I bet if you put an ad on craigs list you can sell it to other people who compost. search your local craigs list for chicken and I bet you see someone looking for poop!

Here is a link that might be useful: they are asking for a lot. I have seen less

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:21PM
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I use all they make. My grass in the front 1 acre is so thick that weeds don't grow. My worms eat a lot of it, along with the maggots. I have 4-10 bushel barrel composters that you crank to turn them and getting some more of them this spring. Want to compost every bit they make to enhance the soil here.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:39PM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

Seramas, you said under the cages were cleaned and this is what yo got! Wow. Do you keep your chickens in cages? I am looking for ideas on how to collect such a magnificent pile of poo like that. Of course I only have 14 chickens and I keep pine shavings under the roosting bars...... Love that picture of gold though.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:01AM
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Nhsuzanne, there are trays under the breeding and holding cages. These trays are emptied daily to keep the ammonia smell down to a safe level. They get pressure cleaned every 2 months-in between breeder pairings.

The large indoor/outdoor runs get cleaned once a month. Keeps parasites (mites/lice) down.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 2:36PM
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you are going to be living on a mountain soon. LOL!!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 7:10PM
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seramas what is that you put on the end of the soda bottles to provide water to your chicks? and where can I get one?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 11:11PM
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They are called pop bottle fountains.
Available (cheapest I've found) at:

Cutler's Pheasant & Poultry Supply
1940 Old 51
Applegate, Mi 48401
Phone 1-810-633-9450

PBF (page 22) Pop Bottle Fountain 12/8.95
they come with springs (be sure to use pliers to pinch one side of the spring close when placed on cage so the birds can't pull them off when you are cleaning and filling the bottle.

PBF-S (page 22) Extra Springs 12/$4.50

There is S/H costs added in addition to price of items.

I can't find them on their website, but if you call all the information you need is above.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:07AM
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thanks. I will check it out

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:40PM
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Love that chicken poo! I have huge veggie gardens where all of mine goes. Wonderful stuff!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 7:46AM
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