Any thoughts or information to help will be greatly appreciated as I am beginning to panic. I will be moving the girls to the coop in about ten days.
Coop & run weren't cheap to have built either so I'm already feeling guilty as well
So long as you don't over-crowd your run you should be fine. I've found that many people over-estimate how many chickens they can put in their runs. I made mine way larger than the numbers say I needed for the number of hens I had but that meant that they had more space for the poo to go and help displace the odor. My run is about as close to my apartment building that I rent out and my renters have never smelt a thing.
Nope. I've thought about trying some that are on the market but I've never got around to it. I'm actually very lazy. My run is very large; 22' by 40' and I keep no more than 25 hens in there on a regular basis.
I have used both sand and shavings but I tend to use shavings more often since it has a deodorizing component to it that sand doesn't. When I clear it out of the coops it goes in a corner of the run for the chickens to scratch through. Right now I have 18 chickens after some culling, I need to cull two more. I have turkey eggs in the bator due this weekend to hatch and I plan to get just a couple of chicks to go with them to bring my numbers back up since I sell eggs at work and my current flock will need some fresh blood by next winter.
Odors are funny things. Some people are overly sensitive to odor of any sort. My neighbor has been down to visit and see the chicken coop he built for me. First think he always says is "boy, do they smell". I smell very little odor around the chickens and especially nothing bad. Mainly I smell the pine bedding. Yet I go up to his property and think his horses stink and I know when he lets the dog in the house because I can smell the dog's odor. The neighbor was never concerned when his horse was pooing 6 feet from my bedroom window. My boy friend is never annoyed at odors of animals. He just says it all smells natural to him. But then he grew up on a horse ranch where they always had at least 100 head of horses so he grew up with animal odors.
As long as you clean on a regular basis you should be fine. Chickens of course will smell like chickens, however, that's not a bad smell. It's rotting poo, especially in a wet run that can start to smell rather ripe.