I was given products in this post for the purpose of review. I was not paid to write this review.
I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret... Chickens stink!
Not so much the chicken themselves, but the mess they make. There isn't much you can do, but I do want to offer a few tips to make it more bearable.
1) Make sure your nesting boxes are no where near your roosting bars. At night my chickens on sleep on the bars and make a mess all night long. The last thing I want is for their mess to be dropping down into the space where they lay their eggs. Keep the 2 separate.
2) Speaking of nesting boxes feel free to add some herbs in there. I'm always breaking off branches of my lavender bush and tucking into their nesting boxes. I figure if the scent calms me it might help them too. Plus the coop smells like lavender for a little!
3) Clean up often, I do mine once a week in the summer. Sometimes in the winter I slack off a little bit and do every other week. (my girls have a huge coop and pen though. For smaller spaces I would still do every week. My girls have a 6 X 9 foot coop that is 10 feet high and a 300 sq ft outside run.) I also only have 9 chickens, this could be different for someone with more (or less) Just use your judgement.
4) Bedding, is so much easier to clean then scraping doo-doo off concrete. Plus in the winter it adds a layer of insulation. And if you can get bedding that gives off a pleasant smell that is even better. I recently found, Oley Hemp, a company that makes all natural litter for all sorts of animals! I personally was able to try
OH! Chicken Coop bedding.
It is dust-free and easy on your chickens’ delicate respiratory systems. This all-natural, 100% US grown hemp bedding is super absorbent and provides a soft, comfortable environment to increase your flocks nesting. Biodegradable and chemical free, OH! Chicken Coop is packed with anti-microbial properties to keep your chickens strutting their stuff! Compostable and easy to clean, OH! Chicken Coop stays dry longer than straw or wood shavings. Five times more absorbent than other bedding options and packed with natural insect repellent, OH! Chicken Coop is the best all-natural chicken coop bedding for happy, healthy chickens.
Higher salvage rate, since it is an industrial absorbent (absorbs 5x its weight), saving time and money
High thermal rating, keeping chickens warmer while they sleep
Perfect for use with Rabbits, Cats, Hamsters, Chickens, Guinea Pigs, Gerbils, Chicks, Horses.
It was so easy to spread around my coop. Unlike straw it didn't get heavy and clean up was so much easier, And the extra absorbent material means my coop is cleaner then ever before. A clean coop equals happy chickens! And it smelled good, kind of like fresh baled hay.
5) Even though I clean my pen weekly I still do a big clean at least once a month. Meaning I wipe down everything with a strong cleaner. Spray down the walls, clean all the food and water dishes really good and just as a precaution I spray everything down with flea and mite spray. Even if the chickens don't have them it doesn't hurt.
Chickens are fun, each of my feathered friends has a personality that is just theirs. Keeping them happy and healthy is my way of showing them love.