Chickens are messy. They eat constantly and so they are constantly depositing their droppings on the ground, and their droppings are usually fairly soft and smelly.
We usually remove the droppings from the roosting area daily, but by the end of a week it can do with a more thorough clean. We also like to put fresh wood shavings (these should be the dust-free variety sold in pet shops etc) in the nest box as even when no-one has spent the night in there little bits of mud and muck are brought in on the birds' feet when they lay their eggs. If a bird does spend the night in the nest box we try to scoop their droppings out before anyone lays an egg, although sleeping and egg laying tend to take place in different parts of the nest box, thankfully.
Today I gave the chickens their weekly clean. Once I'd scraped all the muck I could from the floor of the roosting area I spread the sawdust from the nest box over it to make cleaning it a bit easier and once I'd removed as much of the old sawdust as I could from the nest box I replaced it with a generous amount of clean sawdust.
|The nest box is the section on the right.|
|On your marks . . .|
As the chickens are currently on the patio we have put straw down, which absorbs some of the muck,
|Very mucky straw.|
so that needed raking up
and putting on the compost heap.
A bucket like this comes in handy for that purpose.
Other useful equipment is a garden rake and a shovel
Next weekend hubby will probably give them a more thorough clean if the weather permits.