If your chickens have stopped laying eggs and you wonder if your dirty coop is the reason behind it, this brings us to the question, will chickens stop laying if coop is dirty? What are other reasons of stop laying eggs in your chickens?
As we all know that chickens are the best source of eggs and meat but for that you need to take good care of them, provide them with good nutrition, keep the area or coop clean where chickens live, provide fresh water and proper ventilation to them.
Will Chickens Stop Laying If Coop Is Dirty?
In this blog, I will discuss the reasons why chickens stop laying eggs. Will chickens stop laying if coop is dirty? How does a chicken coop get dirty? How frequently do you need to clean the coop? And the effects of a dirty coop on your chickens.
First, we should know all the reasons why chickens stop laying eggs to confirm if a dirty coop can be the reason. Secondly, we need to understand what is a chicken coop and its importance to your chickens then we will move forward.
Top Reasons for Chickens to Stop Laying Eggs
Below are the reasons to understand if your chicken has stopped laying eggs.
As chickens age, their egg production naturally declines. After a certain point, typically around three to four years old, hens may significantly reduce or stop laying eggs altogether.
Chickens’ egg-laying patterns can be influenced by seasonal variations in daylight hours. During shorter winter days, some chickens may enter a period of reduced egg production or stop laying eggs temporarily.
A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining optimal egg production. If chickens lack essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, or certain vitamins, it can impact their ability to lay eggs consistently.
Stress or Environmental Changes
Chickens are sensitive to stressors such as changes in their environment, predator threats, extreme temperatures, or overcrowding. These factors can disrupt their reproductive cycle and cause a decline in egg production.
Illness or Disease
Various illnesses or diseases, such as respiratory infections, parasitic infestations, or reproductive disorders, can directly affect a hen’s ability to lay eggs. In such cases, addressing the underlying health issue is necessary for the resumption of egg-laying.
Lack of Nesting Facilities
Chickens require suitable nesting areas that provide privacy, comfort, and security to lay eggs. If adequate nesting boxes or spaces are not provided, hens may refrain from laying eggs or choose alternative locations.
Certain chicken breeds are bred more for meat production rather than egg-laying capacity. Consequently, these breeds may exhibit lower egg production compared to breeds specifically developed for egg-laying purposes.
Some hens may go broody, which is an instinct to incubate eggs and raise chicks. During this period, broody hens typically stop laying eggs until their brooding behavior subsides.
Lack of Routine or Disruptions
Chickens thrive on routine and can be sensitive to disruptions in their daily schedules, such as changes in feeding times or environmental disturbances. Inconsistent routines or frequent disturbances can impact their egg-laying patterns.
It’s essential to consider these factors when addressing a decrease in egg production, as identifying the underlying cause can help take appropriate measures to encourage chickens to resume laying eggs.
From the above factors we can clearly understand that a dirty coop can be a potential cause for chickens halting egg production.
What Is A Chicken Coop And Its Importance?
The word “Coop” refers to an arrangement such as a structure where chickens live. A coop is a convertible shed or building that is made up of wood, plastic, and adobe. They can be large or small according to the number of chickens.
Chicken does not need a coop for only laying eggs, they need a coop to sleep at night and protect them from predators and hot and cold weather conditions.
One more thing to note is, chickens have high emotional thinking and a sense of order in their social lives which is fulfilled by a coop as this provides them a place to roost. A coop also helps in reducing territorial tendencies that may result in conflicts or bullying within the flock.
Reasons of Chicken Coop Get Dirty
A dirty coop can be dangerous for your chicken’s health and will also affect its egg production. Some factors might be the reasons for coop getting dirty frequently.
- Putting more chickens in a limited area of coop
- Inappropriate way to cover the floor area
- Water spillage and humidity
- Poor Ventilation
Congested Coop gets Dirty Frequently
Putting more chickens in a limited area of the coop, for example, if your coop has a capacity of 6 chickens and you keep more than 10 chickens and the coop will be congested, in a result of this congestion the coop will get dirty by the droppings of chicken, On average a chicken needs about two square feet of space in a coop to live.
Inappropriate Covering of the Floor Area of Coop
Typically, the floor area of a coop is covered with coarse sand, bark sand, or sawdust, primarily to prevent moisture buildup and facilitate the absorption of droppings and waste.
By using these materials, the floor remains dry, and the droppings are effectively integrated into the substrate. Failure to employ these materials in the floor area can lead to the accumulation of droppings, resulting in a dirty and unsanitary coop environment.
Get Rid of Moisture from the Coop
Try to guard your coop from the moisture as water spillage and rain can cause moisture in the coop, and as a result of this many diseases and viruses can grow in the coop.
Proper ventilation is a very key factor of good health for all living creatures because it is a process of removing warm air and providing cool and fresh air. Poor ventilation in a coop will create a problem of humidity and it will become hot and dirty.
How Dirty Coops Affect Chickens?
Chickens are happy birds and they will not complain about a dirty coop but sometimes they just stop laying eggs, they will live the same like always do by clucking and moving around. But a dirty coop can affect a chicken’s health badly, let us take a moment and talk about that how a dirty coop can affect chickens.
- Feels cold
- Breathing issues
- Eating Droppings
A Dirty Coop Gets Cold and Uncomfortable for Your Chickens
Chickens are very sensitive in nature, especially the young hens who feel uncomfortable in winter and cold weather. If the coop will not get cleaned up then the moisture level will rise and the temperature will become low in the coop.
Your chickens will feel uncomfortable at night time and will feel cold because of the wet coop, it will be harder for chickens to sleep and maintain the temperature resulting in illness or even they will not survive.
A Dirty Coop with Dust Causes Respiratory Issues in Chickens
Chickens usually walked outside the coop in day time, and they spend all the day in garden where dust and dirt get on their feet and feathers. And they will carry all the dust and dirt back to the coop numerous times a day.
As a result, the coop stores all the dust which will mix up with the droppings and waste, and this will cause them difficulty in breathing at night time or whenever they will go in the coop. Chickens will badly affect by respiratory issues which may kill them.
A Dirty Coop May Let Your Chickens Eat Their Droppings
Chickens can eat everything, and if you do not keep the coop clean there is a high chance that your chicken will eat droppings because if there is straw in their coop, they will peck it from time to time.
If your chicken eats dropping with the straw it could make them sick. So if you keep the coop clean timely then there will be less chance of your chicken eating droppings.
A Dirty Coop with Dust Causes Ammonia
Usually, ammonia starts to build on droppings and if you do not clean the coop there is a high chance of ammonia growth, and ammonia affects chicken’s eyes, breathing, and skin problems.
If you do not clean the coop it will affect the laying also, your chicken will stop laying eggs and will also stop eating.
Yes, Chickens will stop laying if the coop is dirty as a result of the above-highlighted issues that are caused by a dirty coop.
How Often To Clean Chicken Coop?
It all depends on the size of coop and the number of chickens you own. If you have 2 or 3 chickens in a big coop there is no need to clean it regularly, and if you have more than 10 chickens in the same coop you will need to clean it regularly because of the increase in the quantity of chicken.
The best thing is to monitor your coop regularly, if you find any dirtiness or moisture in your coop, start cleaning it. We know it is a hassle but your chicken will feel happy and healthier in a cleaner coop and will produce more eggs as a result.
How To Clean A Chicken Coop?
Step 1: Clear the Coop
Before cleaning the coop it is necessary to take out all the chickens from the coop, after that remove all the water drinkers and feed trays. After removing the objects, move out the dirty bedding from the coop.
Wash all the dirt from the coop with pressure water and let the water soften the droppings stuck on the coop, after softening the dirt or droppings, scrap them off with the help of a scrapper.
Step 2: Sanitize
After removing all the dirt, disinfect the entire coop with a nontoxic cleaner that can be easily available in departmental stores or any poultry supply store.
If you do not want to use that cleaner you can make your own disinfectant in your home by mixing Vinegar with water and spraying it on the coop, because vinegar is a not toxic substance.
Finally, Leave it to dry.
Step 3: Move all the chickens and other essentials back
Before getting all the things back to the coop, it is necessary to provide new bedding first for your chickens. After that clean all the drinkers and trays and keep them back in the coop, allow all your chickens to come to the clean coop.