How to disinfect and clean your Chicken Coop

Poultry farming attracts the attention of new and even seasoned livestock farmers because of the kind of product it gives, the eggs and chicken meat. However, starting a poultry farm requires both a meticulous selection of breeds and intensive management to guarantee good production. Intensive management includes regularly cleaning a chicken coop.

The whole process is crucial for both optimum chicken growth and production. Otherwise, lack of it can result in the decline of the chickens’ health, which you don’t want on your farm. 

disinfect and clean chicken coop

In line with this, it is very important that a chicken coop is well-maintained and clean. In cleaning a chicken coop, you may have to follow a number of sanitary procedures. First, you would need to empty the coop; thus, moving the chickens to at least a temporary birdcage. All the accessories, including bedding, must be removed as well. Then, you will start the dry cleaning for dried chicken poop, feed waste, cobwebs, and dust.

Furthermore, dry cleaning should be followed by wet cleaning, which consists of three steps: bathe, wash, and rinse. This procedure ensures that stuck poop and waste are removed, of course, with the help of soap and detergent solution. You may have to repeat the procedure all over just to be extra sure. After, disinfecting with the right disinfectants should be necessary before you go ahead and repair damages if there are any. Finally, you may slowly fill the coop back, starting with clean and fresh bedding.

Remember, a favorable chicken coop does not only make your poultry house free from all potential disease outbreaks in the flock. Considerably, it also guarantees good quality chicken meat and maximized egg production, which you most likely aim for. Therefore, this article provides you the recommended ways in cleaning a chicken coop. Moreover, more specific disinfection procedures are also listed to correspond with each bacterial disease.

General Cleaning Procedure

Transfer all chickens to a temporary birdcage

It is very important for all the owners to allot a temporary space for the chickens to be evacuated. Cleaning a chicken coop and disinfecting it requires not just a 24-hour procedure because it can possibly take days if there are existing damages to be repaired. Your main goal here is to keep your chickens healthy. Thus, even if it is just a temporary shelter for the chickens, you still need to make sure that there are enough space and bearable space condition for them. With this, the chickens that are temporarily moved will not suffer any risks and still maintain their own wellness. Maintain the comfort that they once had and provide them with all the necessary sustenance to prevent any unwanted shortcoming like decreased egg production and lower quality of chicken meat.

disinfect and clean chicken coop

Important note: Provide a temporary shelter conditioned to accommodate the chickens while its permanent coop is cleaned and disinfected.

Remove all the beddings and additional accessories.

Make sure that all of the mess due to beddings are removed. This also includes the feeders, drinkers, perches and nesting box trays that can be found inside your chicken coop. By removing all these will help you clean each corner of the coop and see if there are existing damages. The accessories that you’ve removed can still be reused if there are no damages except for the messy beddings that need new and fresh ones. It is expected that some accessories are permanently glued on the chicken coop but some chicken poop may be stuck to some of its corners. Thus, it is much better to remove it and replace it with new ones in order to make sure that each part inside it is totally cleaned.

Important note: Temporarily remove the chicken coop accessories and dispose of the old and messy beddings to maximize the cleaning and disinfecting procedure.

Dry Cleaning: Scrape and Shovel

After removing all the existing accessories, you are now only left with the dried chicken poop, cobwebs, dust, and all existing coop dirt. This time, you need to get yourself a face mask, a pair of gloves, a shovel, and a scrape. Through the use of scrape, the soft part deposited on the top layer can easily be scooped. The debris can then be removed using the shovel. However, the very solid part needs to be soaked in the water first, which will be explained further on the third part of this list. Always make sure that you have totally removed the layer that needs no soaking in order for you to have a few layers left to remove after wetting.

Important note: Wear a pair of gloves and a face mask. And to remove the top layer of dirt found in the coop surface, use scrape and shovel.

Wet Cleaning: Bathe, Wash, and Rinse


After removing the soft part on the top layer, the remaining small amount of layer is expected to be solidly attached on the surface of the chicken coop. As a result, you first need to soak and bathe the solid layer using water or a mixture of alkaline solution. After then, you need to wait for several minutes or hours until the layer is really soft for you to remove. Your main goal in the soaking part is to soften the remaining layers of dirt.


In achieving the goal of cleaning the coop properly, you need to start the cleaning routine by washing the windows and the upper part of the coop using soap and detergent solutions. Using this liquid solution will help eliminate the dirt that cannot be removed by simple shovels and scrapes. More so, the pungent odor can be removed using a detergent solution. By the time that the remaining dirt layers on the surface of the chicken coop have softened, you can start washing it with soap and detergent solutions that you have used earlier.


After bathing and washing the entire corner of your chicken coop, you can now start rinsing it with pure water. This time you can observe that the solid layer is gradually removed. Continue to water and rinse it until the traces of detergent solution and all the layers of dirt are eliminated.

Important: Follow the three-cycle method under the wet cleaning procedure, which is bathing, washing, and rinsing of your entire chicken coop.


After following the three-cycle method of the wet cleaning procedure, if you aren’t satisfied with the result and you’re unsure that all of the layers of dirt and the existing wall dirt are removed then repeat the whole process.

Important: Repeat bathing, washing, and rinsing parts until you can finally notice that all the unwanted layers of dirt are removed.


If your purpose of cleaning up your poultry house is to eliminate the existing bacterial and viral infections, you need to use the appropriate disinfectants to guarantee its total eradication. Chickens are very much vulnerable to bird infections; thus, it is vital to take note of which appropriate procedure must be followed. Each bacterial and viral infections common to chickens have their respective disinfecting processes.

Important note: Simple sanitary cleaning will not suffice in eliminating bacterial and viral infections unless, otherwise, it is through an appropriate disinfection process.

Repair Existing Damages

Now that you have finally removed all the layers of dirt on the walls and the floor of your chicken coop, you can now start searching for any damages. If you’ve noticed any, it is recommended for you to immediately repair it to prevent it from becoming worse. Since your errand in cleaning a chicken coop is successful, you can now easily spot the damaged parts and repair it right before placing back the accessories.

Important note: If any damages are spotted, it is recommended to repair it right away in order to prevent it from a probable collapse.

Replace it with new beddings

Given that you have already done your job of cleaning a chicken coop that includes disinfecting and repairing any damages from it, you are now down on replacing the bedding with new ones. Make sure that the new beddings are fresh and comfortable for the chickens by the time they return to their permanent home. This is also the part wherein you decide if you are to reuse some of its old and existing accessories or replace it with new ones if it is really impossible for you to use it again.

Best practice: Reuse the undamaged accessories and replace the other variants that can no longer be used.

Specific Bacterial and Viral Disinfection

Escherichia coli

Diseases under this bacterial infection are due to poor hygienic conditions or neglected technological requirements that are really observable in their own surroundings. Genetic immune problems may also contribute to its development.

Procedure to Disinfect: In order to prevent the spread of this bacteria, you can use Clorox Regular Bleach or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.


This bacteria causes Pullorum diseases to chickens. It is characterized by white diarrhea and a high death rate. Pullorum disease is also common to spaces with poor sanitary conditions and can be transmitted through eggs.

Procedure to Disinfect: A commercial bleach and detergent solutions can be used to eliminate Salmonellses

Fowl Cholera

This bacterial infection is manifested in high morbidity and high death rates. Again, this is another bacteria that can cause bird diseases due to unclean environmental conditions.

Procedure to Disinfect: Detergent solutions to maintain the coop’s sanitary condition will suffice. Rodent control and intensive biosecurity plan can also help eradicate this bacterial infection.


This is mainly associated with respiratory symptoms and prolonged course of the disease. It is very important to prevent this type of bacterial infection because it targets the hens, which are the source of chicken eggs. This disease is characterized by tracheal rales, nasal discharge, cough, and decreased egg production.

Procedure to Disinfect: Autoclaving is the best procedure to eliminate mycoplasma. But since it is a chicken coop, you can bathe the entire part of it with boiling water and some strong detergent solutions.


This is characterized by the intoxication of the Clostridium botulinum that is very common to spaces and corners that are not properly sanitized. Its disease is manifested in paralysis and later into a deep coma.

Procedure to Disinfect: You can use ¼ cup of bleach in every 2 cups of water and bathe the entire chicken coop. Make sure that it is completely covered with the bleach solution. Wait for some time before rinsing it.

Gangrenous Dermatitis

It is a disease affecting the total growth of the chickens. It is mainly associated with necrotization of its skin areas. Infected chickens will also have an immediate death after extracting the disease in no less than 24 hours.

Procedure to Disinfect: Since this is another bacterial infection due to sanitary issues, complete the bathing part in cleaning a chicken coop using the detergent solutions for it will help eliminate the disease-causing bacteria.

Viral Inclusion Body Hepatitis

This viral infection is manifested through major hemorrhages and major complications in the chicken’s liver. This viral infection is due to the dirty and unconditioned environment that the chickens are subjected to.

Procedure to Disinfect: A number of detergent solutions will help eliminate this viral infection. Regular clean up and isolation from the infected chickens will also help prevent its spread.

Egg Drop Syndrome

This is a viral infection that results in a sudden drop in egg production, irregular egg shape, soft eggshells, and depigmentation of eggshells. Similarly, this is rooted in the unhealthy and unclean conditions of chicken houses.

Procedure to Disinfect: Use hot water and detergent solutions in disinfecting the chicken houses. Through this, the chance for the chickens to acquire the disease will be lessened or even better, eliminate it totally.

Infectious Bronchitis

This viral infection is detected earlier, usually when chickens are on their fourth week. It is mainly characterized by sneezes, coughs, and rales. The death rate of this infection is also very high and is completely associated with unsanitary conditions that the chickens are exposed to.

Procedure to Disinfect: Disinfection of chicken houses can help eliminate these viral infections. Using a simple yet strong detergent solution will surely terminate this viral infection.

Infectious Bursal Disease

This is an acute, highly contagious viral infection that is very common to chickens that are living in poor sanitary places. This infection is primarily characterized by inflammation and can be observed to chickens older than three weeks.

Procedure to Disinfect: Aside from strong detergent solutions used as disinfectants, it is recommended to cover it and soak it with hot water.

Fowl Pox

This is primarily associated with cutaneous lesions on the feather-less skins. In other words, this disease is mainly observed in the feather and skin of the birds, specifically the chickens. More so, this is an issue due to sanitary issues.

Procedure to Disinfect: A number of detergent solutions will help eliminate this viral infection. Regular clean up and isolation from the infected chickens will also help in its spread prevention.

Reovirus Infections

This disease is mainly associated with arthritis. In short, the bones of the chickens are the main parts being affected by this viral infection.

Procedure to Disinfect: Disinfection of chicken houses can help eliminate these viral infections. Using a simple yet strong detergent solution will surely terminate this viral infection.

Related Questions

What are the negative effects of unclean chicken coops?

It is very important for you to take note that a chicken house with poor sanitary conditions can lower the health status of the chickens and its products. Among these negative effects are as follows.

Contraction of Diseases

With an unclean condition is also the rise of bacterial and viral infections. With this fact, chickens are very susceptible to acquire diseases that could possibly lead to their death. With this, owners like you will have to spend another fortune to remedy the situation.

Spread of Infection

After the disease is contracted, there is a big possibility that the infection will spread and cause a lot of damage to owners like you.

Pungent Odor

The odor resulting from a very poor hygienic condition does not only affect the chickens but also the humans near it. Thus, having a clean chicken house will not risk the health of caretakers and owners like you who wish to visit the chicken coops.

Poor Quality of Chicken Meat

As an owner and a businessman, it is your main target to produce the best quality of meat available in the market. But with poor procedures in cleaning a chicken coop, it will, however, alleviate the quality of chicken meat.

Decrease in Egg Production

Hens being the egg-laying breeds will also suffer to the unfavorable condition caused by the unclean place. With this, its high peak of egg production will not be reached. The chances of acquiring quality eggs will also decrease.

Tria Cinchez

is a freelance content writer that covers various niches. Among her favorites are home improvement, interior designing, landscaping, and backyard farming.

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