Cleaning the coop? - Mothering Forums
I'm Pregnant > Cleaning the coop?
LillianB's Avatar LillianB 11:42 AM 05-16-2010
Anybody know if it's safe to clean out the chicken coop while pregnant? My ND says she doesn't recommend it but I can't find any reason not to. Shoveling out the shavings is kind of dusty so I always wear a particle mask and gloves. I go in there every day to collect eggs and feed and water, anyway. Thoughts?

jessieb503's Avatar jessieb503 01:04 PM 05-16-2010
I was wondering the same thing! My husband has been doing it because I have been too nauseous to deal with it (I'm 12 weeks today). My chickens miss me!!!

I tried researching it online but couldn't find anything. I'll ask my midwife what she says when I see her next but that won't be for a few weeks.
pacifica's Avatar pacifica 01:17 PM 05-16-2010
I cleaned mine 2 days ago....didn't know I maybe shouldn't?!
noah's_mama's Avatar noah's_mama 02:38 PM 05-16-2010
I'm due on Saturday, and I've cleaned mine the whole time. I don't know what would be dangerous about it.
CherryBomb's Avatar CherryBomb 03:27 PM 05-16-2010
I don't see why not, assuming you wash your hands and change your clothes when you're done. I butchered 5 chickens yesterday Dh shovels the pen out when it's time, but just because it kills my back.
Tizzy's Avatar Tizzy 04:21 PM 05-16-2010
I don't see why it would be a problem. As long as you don't lick your fingers afterwards
2sweetboysmom's Avatar 2sweetboysmom 04:45 PM 05-16-2010
I think especially since it is a 'normal' thing to do and not a new experience/exposure there should be no issue. 30 weeks on Tuesday and doing the cleaning myself, no probs.
Interesting note, my coop smell has not bothered me even at the height of my morning sickness. My friends coop however makes me want to gag still. Thinking it is one of those things where you are ok with funk you know.
LillianB's Avatar LillianB 08:20 PM 05-16-2010
You all are awesome. Thank you for the reassurance! Now if I only I can break the habit of licking my fingers afterwards...
weliveintheforest's Avatar weliveintheforest 08:24 PM 05-16-2010
yeah, that's a tough one.
Beltane's Avatar Beltane 08:24 PM 05-16-2010
Originally Posted by LillianB View Post
You all are awesome. Thank you for the reassurance! Now if I only I can break the habit of licking my fingers afterwards...
LOL! I can't imagine not doing my farm chores! That's my exercise!
Ashley_R's Avatar Ashley_R 12:25 PM 05-17-2010
I would say you're fine. I worked at wildlife rehab facility most of pregnancy with DD, which included cleaning up LOTS of wild bird poo (most of which was from unhealthy birds, west nile and such) and DD was born perfectly healthy. I actually think the exposure was good for her. As long as you're taking common sense safety precautions I don't see why cleaning a chicken coop should be an issue especially since I'm assuming your birds are healthy. Now if you're licking your fingers afterward, thats another story.
Gypsy.Momma's Avatar Gypsy.Momma 04:14 PM 05-17-2010
I have been cleaning mine my whole pregnancy and I am 37 weeks didn't even think to ask if it was ok...
aikigypsy's Avatar aikigypsy 07:03 PM 05-17-2010
I've been cleaning mine, but we have only 8 birds (4 hens, 1 rooster, 3 ducks) which free-range durring the day, so it's not too bad. It would be nice to get someone else to do it, but DH is so unenthusiastic about helping that I'd rather do it myself!

I checked into safety issues early on in this pregnancy and couldn't find any reason not to.

I helped "process" 9 ducks today. My cousin and a friend of his came to help and did all the catching and throat-slitting, but I plucked a lot of feathers and pulled out a lot of innards. It was exhausting, but felt fine otherwise. I am going to finish the cleanup tomorrow. The meat-ducklings' coop did get awful stinky, and I'm looking forward to a bit smaller poultry population in the coming weeks.
lunaleau's Avatar lunaleau 12:53 AM 05-18-2010
I too have the chickens! The concern is toxiplasmosis, the same problem as the litter box. Though most of us who have had cats/chickens are immune to it by now. Theoretically you can get titred for it, my doc kind of nixed that idea saying that since I had pets my whole life I was probably fine. I don't clean out either though, pregnancy is my one reprieve from poop duty but it doesn't worry me to much and DH does such a good job! I also eat sushi and lunch meat in pregnancy and definitely lick my fingers after eating soft cheese
AliciaP8's Avatar AliciaP8 11:27 AM 05-18-2010
I cleaned out my chickens, ducks and goats the whole time I was pregnant except at the very end when I was physically sore. I also butchered ducks myself. DH will help clean out but he won't help with plucking or other gruesome tasks!