Spring Cleaning Duck House and Run

If you have ever happened by the blog before you may know that last year we built a new duck house and run for our little fluffy buns!

Well now that Spring has sprung it is time to give our duck house and run a full clean out. It’s nothing unusual, I usually do a full cleanout 2-3 times per year, once in the spring, another mid-summer – especially if it has been very rainy and the ducks have been cooped up a lot, then the last for the year is late fall, right before our really bad winter weather starts to kick up.

The duck house and run before cleaning – I did take down a wall covering the week before to help with ventilation and give them more room to move around.


I will note that this is a how-to for a full cleaning, I check the bedding every day, and any wet/nasty straw gets pulled out as needed and a fresh layer of dry bedding goes down before bed every night. I like my birds to keep dry – well, as much as possible – they are ducks after all…

In the winter I keep an extra eye on their house, whereas in the summer their house windows (and door when we are out) are kept open. The run is made of fencing panels – which allows air flow – and the bedding during the summer has adequate time to dry out. But in the winter, it is enclosed, you can check out how I winterized it here. Which is great to help them keep warm(er), but it doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to dry out. So, when I am out with them, I check the bedding (it’s almost like an obsession!). My main worry is a funny smelly, from either mold or ammonia – ducks are very susceptible to smells, so I want it to be as clean as possible for them.


Cleaning their house and run helps keep them healthy, prevents infection, and helps with smell


To start you will need: vinegar (white or acv), castile soap, essential oils (optional), water, spray bottle, bucket, and scrub brushes.

I know there are a ton of different things you can use – but I opt for super simple – vinegar with water! If I am really feeling like being fancy, vinegar with essential oils (like orange, lemon or lavender) and water – oh la la!

I put 5 tablespoons of vinegar in a spray bottle and top it with water. If it is a small spray bottle, I would opt for less, but mine is pretty big.

I also put castile soap in a bucket with water, and we scrub all the water and food containers, a couple kiddie pools and a dog house that we leave in the run. Pretty much anything they use – gets a good cleaning.

After everything is washed it gets set out in the sunshine to dry.


What I do:

The run wall covers are removed and stored for next year. All extra straws bales are removed and placed on pallets until the house and run are done.

Before I started the house had about a foot of straw in it


All bedding is removed, we use the deep littler method, so this is a job and a half. I figure there is about 10 bales of straw in the house and run – give or take, since I clean some out when necessary. None the less, it’s a big job. You do need to have a plan for the straw you take out – compost pile, etc. I actually make compost garden beds in our garden area with wire and put the bedding in them. Essentially it becomes a wanna-be straw bale garden. I will actually be posting about it next week. So check back and I’ll show you how I make them.

I let everything dry out for a bit – about an hour – then I spray the run walls, fencing panel edges, and concrete pavers (we have water and food set on them. If I need to, I pull them out and let them fully dry)

When I made the girls house and the boys house, I laid vinyl flooring on top of the floor that I had covered with linoleum tiles. I then put the straw on top of it. I pull out the vinyl flooring we have in the duck house and it gets a good washing with the castile soap and left in the sun to dry. The rest of the house gets swept out and sprayed with the vinegar, any area that are really bad gets a scrub down with castile soap and rinsed. Then the door and windows are left open and it gets to air dry.

If any spots seem to be extra iffy, I spray that area again with vinegar.

After the run and house are cleaned out I check for any issues with the run, holes, leaks, etc. Either fix them or make plans to fix them. I did notice that we had issues with water coming off the runs roof. So, we are already planning to put a gutter on the front of the run which will help keep the area around it dry. And I need to touch up some paint, which will need to be done once it gets a bit warmer.

After everything is dry, it’s time to start putting everything back in, doghouse, vinyl flooring, extra bales and nice fluffy straw- it’s the ducks favorite part of the whole process, mine too – because it means I’m done!

Time for a big glass of water and a piece of good chocolate!


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  1. Pingback: Compost Garden Beds - MTdawn

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