How to Clean a Chicken Coop

My Favorite Tools for Cleaning Chicken Pens and Runs

How to Clean a Chicken Coop

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When you have a small chicken coop, but especially a small coop in a SMALL backyard, you need to keep things clean. And it’s important to know how to clean a chicken coop right. I believe maintaining a clean chicken coop is one of the primary responsibilities of keeping an urban chicken coop but especially to preserve our rights to keep chickens in city backyards.

Let’s go over how to clean a chicken coop. It does not cost a lot to gather a few supplies to maintain chicken pens and runs. Some of my supplies are from the dollar stores.

Now onto my favorite supplies for cleaning my chicken coop.

Rakes and Shovels

I have a large, small and a hand-held rake for cleaning up the coop and run. I use them almost daily. I use the shovel to move dirt as needed and fill holes the chickens have created.

Litter Scoop

I use a metal kitty litter scoop to clean the litter from the coop daily. It takes minutes but keeps the coop nice and clean. I scoop up droppings a couple times a day when I pop into the coop to collect eggs or bring treats. I prefer to toss right in my compost which sits right next to the coop. I do not use a deep litter method. Chicken owners with small yards, I believe, do not have the luxury of putting the coop way out back. Many have to keep it away from the property line and controlling the flies and odor is important.


A Small Plastic Bin

I use one to collect debris for the compost bin and when I rake out the straw from the hen house portion of the coop. I bought mine at the dollar store.

Cleaning Brush

I use this to clean webs and dirt off the coop.

Gloves and Mask

Of course my health is important too, so I use these when needed. Rubber gloves are used for scrubbing the coop and daily I use gardening gloves for cleaning up.

Long-Handled Scrub Brush

I use this when I do my twice yearly scrubbing of the coop. It reaches into the coop and is nice and sturdy.

Short Handled Scrub Brush

I use this to clean waterers and on occasion, I clean them with hot water and dish soap. I do not use bleach as the plastic tends to absorb the bleach odor.


Vinegar is great in hot water too with a bit of dish soap and I use this when I do my twice annual complete chicken coop scrubbing. In March and October, we literally move the coop and I clean every inch of it and lay new sand on just the coop floor. The sides are swept of webs and then scrubbed and I pick a sunny warm day so I can hose it down if needed and it dries quickly.

You can see how I use sand and straw in our own coop and hen house. There are benefits to both.

In the heat of summer when the flies are bothersome, a great diatomaceous earth use is to put it in the feed and sprinkle it on the freshly raked chicken run and coop.

When we looked at how to build a chicken coop, I knew keeping the space the chickens live extra clean would have to be a priority. So far my neighbors have never complained and some have said they didn’t even know we had chickens. Now that is the best compliment on a well-maintained chicken coop you can get. Visit us at the Sunny Simple Life.

What tools do you use to clean your chicken coop?

Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy. 

2 thoughts on “How to Clean a Chicken Coop”
  1. I’m going to start a new chicken coop I’m not sure what baby chickens I need or a rooster do they get along and how many to each rooster I see that it’s straw and sand is good for the ground is that true

  2. Hi. I wanted to read your article on the coop floor using straw ans sand but it says it’s only for invited readers. Could you share, please? That’s the set up I’m leaning towards ans also have a smaller urban yard so smell and neighborly peace is a high concern. Thank you!

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