Cleaning the coops

Today was cleaning out the henhouses day. We use a product called Aubiose for litter. It’s intended as horse bedding, but it’s absolutely brilliant for poultry. With an interim top-up, it means we only have to do a deep clean once a month.

We start by cleaning the house out thoroughly and checking for red mite, especially on the roosting bars. If we find any, the bar ends are dipped in creosote, and we also creosote the entire house every year. No problems today, I’m glad to say. Then the house is given a good scattering of diatomaceous earth, which also acts against mites.

Henhouse 001a

We make sure that the recesses for the roosting bars have got plenty of diatomaceous earth, since that’s a favourite hiding place for red mite.

Henhouse 002a

The larger house has got large nestboxes that are particularly luxurious when well-filled with Aubiose.

Henhouse 003a

Then the house is reassembled …

Henhouse 004a

… and the roosting bars re-installed.

Henhouse 005a

Meanwhile, the chickens have of course been excluded, but are very aware that something is going on with their beloved house.

Henhouse 006a

At the end of the process, they’re desperate to get back in. Unfortunately for them, there’s no door on their side! As soon as we let them back into the run, they make a beeline for the house

Henhouse 007a

… led by Billy, who bravely checks that all is safe before allowing his hens back in.

Henhouse 008a

The Year 1 house is smaller and less well-appointed, but fresh litter is just as much appreciated by the younger birds.

Henhouse 011a

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