It’s been really warm the last few days and today was a good chance to give the coop a thorough clean.
I do this as often as I can but at least twice a year, when the weather’s warm enough for the wood to dry before the girls go to bed at night. All the bedding is removed, the perches and slide-out floor taken out, and the nest box detached from the side of the coop. When building the coop 3 years ago I wanted to make some of these components as removable as possible for cleaning and whilst wood will move with the seasons, things are looking okay for the age of the coop.
I gave the inside and outside a thorough clean with the pressure washer, getting in all of the edges and corners where dust and cobwebs have built up. There’s evidence of red mite where the nest box and side of the coop join and that is quickly washed away and the area treated with diatomaceous earth. Red mite is a problem throughout the year, but more so in the warmer months and whilst you can never get rid of this pest completely, it needs to be kept at bay otherwise the health of the hens will be affected. The perches are given a thorough clean too and again these are given a good dose of diatomaceous earth to minimise red mite.
After a couple of hours the coop is dry, and sparkling clean, and I can put the nest box, floor and perches back. I close the doors and give the inside of the coop a generous amount of diatomaceous earth, paying attention to get this into all of the edges where the different panels meet. Some fresh bedding goes into the coop, and it’s ready for the girls to sleep in. Willow is first up the ramp to inspect my work, has a quick look around and seems to approve as she wanders off back down the ramp, clucking to the others!