This is my barn.

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We had it built a little less than two years ago. It really isn’t much more than a glorified shed. The middle section holds tools, and chicken supplies. The right hand side is overflow from irrigation projects. The loft is storage as well, for camping and holiday stuff. The left hand side is my chicken coop.

Now, as I said, the barn was built not quite two years ago. And last week it dawned on me that I hadn’t properly cleaned out the coop since then. I had kept adding fresh bedding, but never fully scooped and swept it out. So Saturday I cleaned it out.

This is what it looked like to begin with:

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I’ve pulled out the feeder and waterer and nesting boxes, and raised the roost out of the way. How about we look a little closer?

IMG_5969That there is nearly two years of deep bedding. Yikes!

Well, I waded in and started shoveling. And shoveling. And swept a little. Then shoveled and swept some more. Until finally . . .

IMG_5973I had a wheelbarrow full. I dumped it in the compost. Then more shoveling, and scooping, and sweeping.

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Almost another full wheelbarrow full to the compost. And what does the coop look like?

IMG_5975So clean and sparkly! Well, not sparkly. But clean!

Side note: We thought that having a concrete floor would be the best option to keep our hens safe. It is super overkill. We don’t have a predator problem to begin with, and the concrete means that all that bedding has a hard time breaking down. I won’t do that again. But back to the task at hand.

So my coop is clean, so it’s time for new bedding.

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I had a truckload of wood chips waiting to be spread in my orchard, so I scooped a couple of wheelbarrowful’s over in the coop. Straw would have been my first choice, but this is what I have on hand. And if it’s good enough for the Chicken Ninja Master, it’s good enough for me.

IMG_5977Isn’t that pretty? I kept the area in front of the door clear, because when bedding builds up there it is hard to close the door (leading to chickens escaping when kiddlies go out to get eggs unattended). I have the water inside so it doesn’t evaporate off completely every day in the summer heat.

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I’ve downsized from four nestboxes to two as my chickens only ever laid in two anyways. I didn’t put wood chips as the bedding in the nest boxes though. I had a little bit of wood shavings left that someone gave me, and I used that for bedding. I also put one wooden egg in each nest.

So that is my giant cleanup of my coop.