Natural cleaners for cleaning the chicken coop

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Cleaning the chicken coop is a necessary job, but using harsh chemical cleaners isn’t. Learn how to use natural cleaners for cleaning the chicken coop in this excerpt from 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks from Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele.


Coop Cleaner, Deodorizer and Pest-Repellent Sprays

Cleaners such as bleach and ammonia are not safe to use around your chickens, but fortunately, there are nontoxic cleaners you can use to clean your coop and to disinfect your feeders and waterers. At the first scent of ammonia in your coop, the bedding should all be raked out and replaced or an ammonia-eliminating product sprinkled on the floor. Between larger cleanings, I like to spray a natural herbal spray in my coop to refresh the air and also to act as a bit of an insect and mouse repellent. Most bugs and rodents don’t enjoy the scent of aromatic herbs. So while we enjoy them (and the chickens, who don’t have such a great sense of smell anyway, don’t seem to mind them), spraying an herbal solution such as this can help keep pests at bay while adding a bit of aromatherapy to the coop. I like to use white vinegar as the base for whichever scent of spray I’m making. It’s inexpensive and works well when it comes to knocking down bacteria and mold.

Photo from 101 Chicken Hacks From Fresh Eggs Daily

LEMON THYME SPRAY

This bright-yellow spray will add a cheerful citrus scent to your coop.  Lemon oil is a natural insect repellent, so it’s a nice addition to the herbs in this spray. Thyme is an antiparasitic that helps repel flies.

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Here’s how you make it:  To a  quart-size Mason jar, add the peels of 1 lemon, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and white vinegar to cover the solids. Screw on the jar cover and ring.  Let the jar sit for a few weeks, shaking the contents every few days,  until the mixture is fragrant and the vinegar scent is gone. Strain into a squirt bottle and squirt around your coop and on the roosting bars as needed.

Other Sprays I Like

Orange peel, cinnamon, and vanilla: This is an original scent that I developed and have been using in my coop for a few years now. I love how the ingredients blend together and smell so good. In fact, I like it so much,  I also use the spray to clean my kitchen! With the same process as above, use the peels of 1 orange, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and a couple of fresh vanilla beans.

Lime,  lavender, and mint: If mice are a problem in your coop, in addition to moving the feed and water outside, you might try this spray inside the coop. Mice supposedly aren’t too fond of mint, so add a healthy handful along with the peels of a lime and a few sprigs of lavender. Again, use the same process as the lemon thyme spray.

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Cinnamon pine:    Both pine scent and cinnamon can help deter insects, so if herbs aren’t your thing, try this variation. Make sure you choose an evergreen variety with a nice piney smell for the most aromatic spray. Cut a few branches,  strip off the needles, and crush or chop them a bit to release the pine oils, then add a few more small branches into the jar as well.

VINEGAR CLEANER FOR FEEDERS AND WATERERS

Photo from 101 Chicken Hacks From Fresh Eggs Daily

White vinegar, baking soda, and sunlight can all do an amazing job of killing bacteria, mold, and pathogens. Ultraviolet rays are also a powerful disinfectant, and vinegar kills many types of mold, as does baking soda. Using all in combination will keep your chicken feeders and waterers clean and your chickens healthy.

Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water. Using a stiff brush, scrub the inside of the feeders with the solution, then follow up with a sprinkle of baking soda. Add more water and vinegar solution, and keep scrubbing. Finally, rinse the feeders off with a hose and let them dry in direct sun.

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This tutorial “Coop Cleaner, Deodorizer and Pest-Repellent Sprays,” is excerpted from 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks from Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele. Used with permission from Voyageur Press.

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