Let's face it, chickens can be messy. Whether you're brooding chicks or ducklings, or raising a flock of full-grown chickens or ducks, you're going to have to be cleaning pretty frequently - and the last thing you want to do is use bleach or chemicals for cleaning around your precious little ones. The fumes can be damaging to their lungs and the ingredients aren't conducive to their overall good health. Instead, whip up a batch of my all-natural Lemon Thyme Herbal Cleaning Spray.
White vinegar kills germs much the same as bleach does, without the potentially harmful fumes or damage to the environment. It will kill mold, mildew and many pathogens and types of bacteria. However, it won't kill all strains of staph infection or salmonella, so when you're working with raw chicken, it's still best to use a stronger cleanser for your cutting board and knife, or combine the vinegar with hot soapy water.
This spray works best if it's allowed to sit for several weeks before using, so you'll want to plan in advance and get a batch going well before your babies arrive in the spring or before you plan to clean your coop. Once you get going though, if you start a new batch each week, you'll always have a ready supply when you need it. Besides cleaning your coop, this spray also works great in your kitchen or bathroom. It smells so good, cleans so well, and is so inexpensive to make.
I chose the ingredients I use in the spray for very specific reasons:
Thyme - aids in respiratory health, antibacterial, antimacrobial, and anti-parasitic
Lemon peels/citrus oil - solvent and degreaser and antibacterial
White vinegar - natural disinfectant, antibacterial and mold killer
Peel a few lemons and slice the peels into thin strips, or use the entire lemon and just cut them into thin slices. Put the lemon strips (or slices) in a large glass jar with a handful of fresh thyme (crush the leaves between your fingers first a bit to release the oils). Pour in the vinegar and fill the jar, leaving 1/2" headroom.
Set the jar on the kitchen counter to 'age' for about a month, shaking the contents every few days to mix them up. The mixture should start to smell fragrant and lose its vinegar-y smell. That's when you know it's ready to use. At that point, simply strain it into a spray bottle. Spray your brooder, coop, counters or shower stall liberally, let sit a minute and then wipe clean. No need to rinse.
If you like this all-natural idea....
Read HERE for the recipe for my all natural Orange Peel Coop Cleaner.
Read HERE to learn some of the benefits of common herbs for you and your flock.
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