An inspiringly clean chicken coop

May 13, 2011 | By | Comments (26)
Jim McCausland, one of Sunset’s main contributors to our sister blog, Fresh Dirt, recently posted this nice write-up about a sparkling-clean chicken coop in Bend, Oregon.

  Poophammock
The poop hammock at Michelle Tullis’ henhouse.

Here at Sunset, we solve the problem of the nightly droppings cascade by having a henhouse with an open-mesh bottom. The whole structure sits on stilts (high enough to prevent a hungry racoon from shooting an arm up through the mesh and grabbing a chicken leg), and the droppings fall through to a straw bed underneath…which we periodically rake out into our compost bin. It’s a little less work than emptying a hammock and seems to suit us and our chickens.

Michelle Tullis, the clean-coop owner, also elevates her feeder and waterer so that dust, dirt, and feathers don’t get mixed in. Admirable.

Feeder Waterer

Our solution is to simply hang the feeder and the waterer from the top of the coop’s roof. It works, sorta. We still get a fair amount of dirt in the water, and twigs and such in the food. So I love the way Michelle has positioned rocks and pebbles around both—no way any chicken can kick up dirt from stone!—and we might do the same. She’s clearly spent some quality time watching her birds and analyzing their behavior.

Anything a chicken-owner can do to keep a coop clean is a good thing. It keeps both hens and humans healthy. And helps deter R-A-T-S.

COMMENTS

  1. Keep Your Chickens Clean and Happy – Live Green + Natural

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    August 13, 2014 at 7:44 am
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  3. mzkynd

    OMG, I was rolling on the floor in tears at Mary’s story, with the utmost sympathy of course, and fighting a frozen poopy mess right now , I empathize, and know my day is coming and karma gonna get me for laughing! :P

    December 28, 2013 at 3:05 am
  4. Dawn E. Sarver

    just a great looking coop! I also use poop nets (hammocks) and as a quick note, they r a breeze to clean, daily i scrape the droppings off and every other day or so i take them out and hose them off , nearly no Oder minimum poo on floor, .I have linoleum on floor then deep litter, may change to sand this summer, still investigating that option…..

    December 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm
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    December 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm
  6. Lori

    If your chickens are walking on wire, stone or gravel, be sure to check the bottoms of their feet for abrasion and possible infections periodically.

    I had wood chips in our run that caused several of our chickens to develop infections on the bottoms of their feet. Untreated, such infections could cause lameness and even worse.

    I replaced the wood chips with sand. Sand is easy on chicken feet and much easier to keep clean: I use a reptile litter scoop taped to the end of a long handle and scoop droppings right out of the sand. Plus, the chickens like to dustbathe in it.

    Rather than hang the feeder, I set it inside an extra large plastic plant saucer. Anything that gets scratched out of the feeder gets caught inside the saucer making clean up easy. And nothing from the sand gets into the feeder.

    October 28, 2013 at 5:36 am
  7. ChickenCoopAtHome (@chickencoophome)

    I simple love the idea of that elevated feeder, maybe I should decorate mine with ornamental stones which I have as an excess from my garden landscaping tasks last week. Thankyou for giving me this idea. I love your clean coop.

    September 20, 2013 at 1:34 am
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    July 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm
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    June 23, 2013 at 12:14 am
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    Sweet Lucky

    June 10, 2013 at 11:58 am
  11. Judy Bass

    I also am fixing up a little coop. But the problem I’m having is putting new wiring on it. I’ve got more staples and nails and it than Fort Knox. It has two layers of wiring… The old and the new!!! hoping to have it ready for my for a little ladies very soon. just trying to make sure that it is safe for my new ladies..love all the tips on here and I will be using several of them right away

    June 5, 2013 at 6:53 am
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    May 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm
  13. K in SC

    great ideas thank you

    May 24, 2013 at 10:47 am
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    May 23, 2013 at 1:50 am
  15. Geoffrey Barger

    We use a 3 gallon bucket with the “nipple” style emitters. We hang the waterer, it never get s dirty and the birds took to it in minutes. Food also hangs.

    April 19, 2013 at 9:01 am
  16. Julie – Gardening it Easy

    What great ideas! We are building a new coop soon and I am looking for ideas like these to keep it cleaner and neater!

    April 12, 2013 at 12:39 am
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    January 8, 2013 at 9:35 am
  19. Sharon

    Consider wearing a dust mask when cleaning the chicken coop.

    January 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  20. Chris

    Chookies can be so much fun all with their individual personalities – I often sit nearby and listen to them talking with each other. I think I’ve been hanging around them so long that I can almost understand the gist of what they’re talking about. I’m sure they’re having a good’ol gossip about Penelope who just walked off, or Pumpkin who is looking a bit featherless at present. I love my chooks. Great site this – thanks heaps

    December 27, 2012 at 4:33 am
  21. June Warden

    Love reading you posts and comments from other chicken farmers, I get so great ideas to improve my chicken house. I got my first 3 eggs today!!!!! My little ladies are starting to produce.

    December 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm
  22. Beverly Anderson

    Chickens are interesting creatures, love to watch them sit in the yard and absorb the quirks each has, and each is so very different. I do have my favs. Plymouth Barred Rock, sweet talkative and gentle.Have also learned to love Buckeyes they are very curious. New for me this year.
    Go on get a coop bulit and they are great gardening friends they can take weeds down faster than you can. Such good helpers.

    December 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm
  23. Tula

    I love my chickens and I am not near as tech as ya’ll seem to be. I enjoy reading this.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm
  24. mary

    Hi, Please don’t laugh when you read this because i can tell you tears are fallling on my keyboard. I really wanted to have chickens here at our place. we live out in the country so no zoning restrictions or anything like that. I have been reading on how to clean the coops and othe info. Well I found a coop that needed a little work but that was no problem. There are 18 nest sites and being so excited to get the coop at a reasonable price I thought well i can clean everything up. So I started , well there was so much chicken poop in the nest and had turned to almost concrete so i tried to start digging. that didn’t work sop i brought the garden hose in and filled the nest with water, not know there was no drainagc holes in the nest. I didn’t give up though as I stired and scrapped and finally got the poop loose. Drilled some holes in the nests to let the water out but the poop was so thick it would not drain out. I didn’t give up though. I took a cup and started dipping, but could not get all of the water out. By this time, 4 hours later, I am beginning to give up . I am covered with chicken poop, my hands are brown from dipping out the poop as it seeped in my gloves, my fault when i started out i didn’t need rubber gloves but then encountered water nightmare.
    Thank you for listening, i just needed to tell this to someone.
    Mary

    October 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm
  25. Vicki Silvius

    I’ve been raising chickens for over 30 years-I use a tire (rim still inside)to elevate & level waterer

    August 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm
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    I love this post. I am studying chicken keeping and it is on my list of things to do in the next year. I LOVE this lifestyle trend.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

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