When keeping chickens, keeping a clean coop and run is best. By keeping a clean coop you keep the amonia fumes at bay. (The amonia comes from the collection of the clucks poo on the flour of the coop.) Since this is an enclosed area the amonia fumes have no where to go except to hang out. Breathing these fumes is not healthy for you or your birds. Keeping the poo picked up in both the coop and run keeps the pest numbers lower also. Lots of poo equals lots of flies. Not to mention the more poo the bigger the smell. We all know that poo stinks!! Now there may be some confusion here. One would think that picking up poo and keeping a clean coop means cleaning everything out of the coop (meaning your bedding -either wood shavings or straw) once a week or at the least, once every two weeks. If that is the way you would like to do things you could. But you don't have to. We use the deep litter method. When cleaning I leave the wood shavings (our choice for bedding) but pick out the poo. Once a month or so I will take out most of the shavings along with poo and replace it. About every two months I take all of the shavings out and replace with new. I also give a good clean out to the run as well, raking out all of the poo that has collected. We have a decent sized run so the poo build up isn't too bad. But this is relative. The more birds in a space the quicker the poo builds up and the other way goes too, the smaller the space the quicker the build up of poo. With new peeps coming to live us on Friday it will be ever so important to practice strict cleanliness. We will need to wash our hands and change our clothes after visiting with the peeps and before going any where near our sweet clucks in the coop. The peeps will be living in our basement for the first month so shoes will not be an issue. But if you were to be keeping your peeps in an outdoor area you wouldn't want to wear the same pair of shoes from one coop to another. After a quarenteen period of 2 weeks to ensure that the new peeps have no sickness' that can be passed on to our clucks, things will be a little easier. But we must keep in mind that new peeps are still growing their immune system so something that may not effect our exsisting flock may effect the new peeps. So washing hands is still very important and using our noggins in respect to germ trasfer. Healthy clucks are happy clucks - happy clucks lay lots of eggs.