Cleaning And Disinfecting Poultry And Rabbit Housing And Watering Devices

Keep your poultry flock healthy. Winters cold blast will soon be upon us. Your poultry and rabbits will be less active and spending much more time inside your hen house rabbit hutches. Now is the time you should prepare your facilities for the onslaught of winters cold wet weather, snow and ice storms.

Run your fowl out of your hen house. Remove all litter (wear a dust mask) bedding and nest box materials. Put that in your compost pile or use it as a deep mulch around newly planted fruit trees and existing trees and shrubs.
Use a hoe or flat nose shovel, scrape your hen house floor to remove old dried droppings, sweep floor and walls to remove dust and spider webs.

Wash walls (inside and outside), nest boxes and floors with soap water, (use a long handled brush or better yet a pressure washer), rinse well. Then spray walls nest boxes and floors with a disinfectant solution (a 1 gallon hand pump-up sprayer works well for this). Allow everything to dry before allowing your flock to return to your hen house.

Wash and disinfect your feeders and watering equipment. Allow to dry, then refill them with fresh water and feed.

** Help Hints:
Phenols are coal-tar derivatives. Phenols are effective antibacterial agents, and they are also effective against fungi and many viruses. They also retain more activity in the presence of organic material than iodine or chlorine-containing (bleach) disinfectants. Common uses in commercial animal production units include: hatchery and equipment sanitation, and footbaths. Examples: Lysol, Pine-Sol, Cresi-400, Environ, and Tek-Trol. I don’t know what my chickens think about it, but I like the smell when I’m using Pine-Sol to disinfect my hen house, feeders and Watering devices.

Chlorine (bleach) compounds are good disinfectants on clean surfaces, but are quickly inactivated by dirt. Chlorine is effective against bacteria and many viruses. These compounds are also much more active in warm water than in cold water. Chlorine solutions can be somewhat irritating to skin and corrosive to metal. (Wear rubber/latex gloves) They are relatively inexpensive. Examples: Clorox, Chloramine-T, and Halazone.

Hydrogen peroxide and other oxidizing agents, like peracetic acid and propionic acids or acid peroxygen systems are used in commercial poultry operations. They are active against bacteria, bacterial spores, viruses, and fungi at quite low concentrations.

Disinfecting poultry drinking water. Chlorination is commonly used as a disinfectant for drinking water at a concentration of 3 parts per million (ppm). Concentrations up to 10 ppm have been reported to be well-tolerated by chickens.

Preparing a stock solution. Add 1 ounce (1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons) of Clorox to 1 gallon of clean water. A larger batch of stock solution can be made by adding 1 cup of Clorox to 8 gallons of water. Mix in a plastic container that can be tightly sealed shut. For slime control, 1.5 to 2 ounces of Clorox liquid bleach per gallon of water are needed.

Heat or not to heat my hen house? Healthy Adult chickens are very cold hardy. Egg production will suffer, but, the birds will be fine in most cases. Some people recommend using a 250 watt heat lamp or even a 100 watt light to warm a hen house. This sounds like a good idea, but is in fact a really bad idea.

Chickens, ducks and turkeys all need at least 8 hours of darkness (sleep) time daily. Fowl do not get the needed 8 hours of sleep time if their roosting area is lit-up with heat lamp(s) and their over all health suffers badly.. **Hint: Using Infra Red bulbs is a better choice but if you can find them, non-light producing Infrared Ceramic Heat Bulb/ Emitters are a better choice.

Gas Powered Pressure Washer

Gas Powered Pressure Washer

FYI: I have seen electric powered 1600 PSI pressure washers at places like Harbor Freight for as little as $90.00 and gasoline powered 2000PSI pressures washers for around $250.00. A pressure washer is worth the investment. Not only will you save time and labor cleaning your hen house, you can use a pressure washer to clean patios, drive ways and the exterior of your home.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)


6 responses to “Cleaning And Disinfecting Poultry And Rabbit Housing And Watering Devices

  1. We have ducks that live in the barn with our goats & barn cats (rodent patrol agents, who have never bothered the ducklings). The ducks have nest boxes, but prefer to find other corners to nest. We clean the barn monthly, moving the wood chips/hay/manure mix to the garden or compost pile. Once the ground is exposed, we dust it with garden lime and diatematious earth. Our farmer neighbors tell us that the lime “kills germs” by changing the pH level, though I have never investigated this. The diatematious earth cuts up the insects and fly maggots. Our goats, cats, and ducks look healthlier, with less ring-worm skin problems, and have not needed de-worming (GI system) since we started this routine.

    Regarding water, I put out clean water daily, but the ducks prefer the muddy water in their pond rather than the clean water.


  2. And my asthmatic adult daughter keeps pressing us for an urban chicken house? You certainly thicken the plot.


    • Re: Jnana Hodson – Grin .. Think small. 2 hens can lay a dozen eggs a week and will lay mostly all year long. Ducks will also lay about 5 eggs a week but ducks have a laying season and will lay for about 3 or 4 months in a years time. Good luck
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


  3. I remember doing this years ago. A lot of work, but if you like chickens and fresh eggs it’s worth the trouble.


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