Simply building a sturdy chicken coop is not enough to ensure that your chickens stay in their best condition. The coop still needs to undergo aftercare and maintenance activities, one of which involves fumigation.
First, what is fumigation? This is the process of disinfecting an area using chemical fumes. It can either be organic or artificial, whichever suits your preference. If you’re not yet doing this for your chicken coops, it’s just right that you check on your chickens immediately. The absence of disinfection may put their health at risk.
That said, this article will walk you through the ins and outs of fumigating chicken coops. In the following sections, we’ll talk about its importance, when you should do it, and how you should do it.
Why Should You Fumigate Chicken Coops?
Fumigating chicken coops is an essential part of disinfecting the area. It’s usually treated as a treatment rather than a preventive solution, so it’s done when owners notice an infestation.
Here, the fumes or smell of the chemicals are released in the area to suffocate and kill existing pests. After the process, you can expect the coop to not pose pest-related threats to your chickens.
This is a very invasive process and usually involves materials that are toxic to both humans and animals. Because of this, beginners should really take caution when using fumigation to disinfect coops. I recommend wearing PPEs like gloves, goggles, and masks.
When is Chicken Coop Fumigation Needed?
In general cases, you’ll only need to fumigate your chicken coops when pests start to breed in the area. Signs of infestation are evident. These include finding mites or dirt-like specks on your chicken, seeing bug clumps in the corner of the coops, etc.
As for maintenance, it’s best if you avail of the service every four years. This applies even if there is no pest infestation yet. Some recommend a two-year interval, but it will depend on your chicken coop and the area it is in.
Ways on How to Fumigate Chicken Coops
Now, here are some ways how you can fumigate your chicken coops:
1. Using Iodophor
Iodophor is one of the most common chemicals used for fumigating chicken coops. It’s one of the least toxic substances for humans and animals, which makes it a good choice for beginners. The chemical is also both accessible and effective.
Probably the only cons of iodophor are its pungent odor and the icky yellow residue that it leaves. A good iodophor alternative is formaldehyde vapor, another common chemical for the process.
2. Natural Pest Control Remedies
There are several natural pest control remedies that you can use for fumigation. These include essential oils like eucalyptus and tea tree, cinnamon, lavender, and more. A vinegar-water solution is also a common remedy that chicken owners use. Note, though, that instructions will vary depending on what substance you use.
3. Store-Bought Garden Disinfectant Sprays
In almost any grocery or hardware store, you will be able to find garden disinfectants or fumigation sprays for sale. This is a good choice if you don’t have the time to look for specific chemicals or mix your own solutions. It’s also more convenient and cost-efficient.
4. Professional Fumigation Services
Of course, one of the most guaranteed ways for fumigation involves professional services. If you don’t want to do the process yourself, you can always have a professional do it for you. In this way, you won’t have to deal with risks and beginner mistakes.
Your task as a chicken owner does not stop with building a chicken coop and feeding the animals every day. It’s also your responsibility to clean, disinfect, and ensure that their habitat is free from any issues.
This is where fumigation comes in. You can do this using several methods. The most common one around involves using an iodophor. I use this, but because of some cons like its overly strong odor, I recommend looking for other alternatives. Opting for natural remedies, sprays, or weaker iodophors will be a good choice.
On the last note, remember that fumigation should be assisted by other cleaning tasks like sweeping and pressure washing. These will further ensure that your chicken coop doesn’t serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.