28 000, poultry, chickens, vaccines; snick; house

Poultry production: The importance of cleaning your chicken house

Question: Is it necessary to wash and sanitise a poultry house?

Yes. In fact, it’s an important part of the production process to ensure that the house is correctly sanitised and rested before the next batch of chicks is placed.


Carrying out a good dry-clean and dusting off of all the surfaces, followed by washing down with clean water, will help reduce the number of bacteria present in the poultry house.

Used litter contains 500 million bacteria per gram. This is why the house must be thoroughly dry cleaned before washing it out with water.

If the house has been washed out with clean water, it will contain 200 million bacteria/cm². Should the house have been washed and disinfected poorly or an unsuitable product applied, the bacterial content will decrease to between 250 000/cm² and 5 million/cm².

Where a suitable sanitising agent is applied and the process is done correctly, bacteria will decrease to between 5 900/cm² and 6 000 bacteria/cm².

By resting the house for at least 10 days after disinfection and before placing chicks, the pathogenic bacterial load will decrease even further.

Also read:
Manage chicken litter for profit
Provide good housing for healthy chickens

  • This article was written by Dr. Mick Versfeld and first appeared in Farming SA.

share this