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How do I get rid of the smell?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi,  we now the parents of 4 RIR hens about 4-5 months old.  We have a coop that we move around the fenced in yard, is there something safe I can put down on the ground to neutralize the smell once we move them to another spot?  The yard is not real big but it also houses our 3 raised gardens (bad planning on our part).  I worry with such a small area that the smell may get bad.  I clean the poop out of the roost and laying nest every morning, once we move the coop I rake it up and put it in the compost.  We were using pine shavings on the ground but they don't compost well, so I used the grass clippings which are nice and easy, my way of recycling:)

Thanks for your advise

post #2 of 20

I would think with only four birds that it won't get bad at all.  So do your chickens have access to the entire yard?  About how small is your yard?

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #3 of 20

If you move the coop every few days, it shouldn't smell at all.  Especially since you are raking, in fact I'd think you could even leave it longer if you are raking after moving.  If for some reason it does, it helps a lot to keep it dry.  If it rains, try to keep the outdoor pen area dry by covering with a tarp or something.  Stall dry or food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) can help dry things up.  Stall dry looks like kitty litter, it is absorbant volcanic material and I think it has some DE in it.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

We just let them out for the first time today, the yard is about 24x30?? not real sure just guessing, the coop is an A frame and they roost closed up in the top at night.   

I did find the posts on DE I may try to find that tomorrow, I keep smelling something foul but I can't figure out where it is coming from but it is around the coop.  I have been putting the poop in the composter but I mixed that today and didn't smell it.  I see the DE will help with the flies which are present now.

We have had them less than 2 weeks and I clean the coop out daily but I see the ladder has poop on it would that be smelling already?

These girls better start laying soon, they are a lot of work:rolleyes:

post #5 of 20

Chicken poop doesn't smell when it's dry. Do you have any wet bedding in there?

The other thing I can think of is that chickens do tend to have a chickeny odor to their bodies when they're inside an enclosed space. If your coop has good ventilation, that will help let this odor disperse.

I switched from a soy based to a nonsoy based chicken feed and noticed this chicken odor disappeared from my chicks. It was a welcome thing because they were still in a brooder in the corner of our den at the time.

post #6 of 20

I just have five girls, and the only time I smell poop is when I go in there to scrape the dropping board in the morning, because it's all piled right there.  I don't smell anything until the next morning (unless one is sitting right beside me and drops a smelly bomb...lol).  So I would include scraping the ladder you mentioned.  Also, you might consider blocking the nests at night, because they shouldn't be sleeping and pooping in there.  It makes clean up much easier if they are sleeping on the roost.  I agree with elmo that it's most likely NOT the poop you're smelling, but something damp/wet, although I've found that the Dumar brand of feed results in stinkier droppings for my birds, so I use the Purina.

Your yard is plenty big for 4 chickens to NOT stink it up smile

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

It did rain the other day and I use a water bottle that they peck at it may be dripping some when they drink.  The other night I looked in and they were all in one nesting box, the coop has one on each end.  The do use the roost also b/c I find poop there too.


Edited by vachicks - 4/23/10 at 7:22pm
post #8 of 20

I have 9 chickens in non-portable coop that I don't scoop out (I deep litter and just add bedding as needed) and I just went out to lock up and scritch my girls on the roost. Guess what? The only smell that I noticed was the smell of slightly damp feathers because it was sprinkling at dusk.

One thing is for sure. The price of a dead hen is a dead pred.
Trapping the trap-savvy raccoon
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One thing is for sure. The price of a dead hen is a dead pred.
Trapping the trap-savvy raccoon
Reply
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hmmm, the smell isn't all the time I just get a hint of it, I will try to find the source tomorrow before we get rained on again.  At least the water barrels are filling back up, I was out.

post #10 of 20

My guess is that the grass clippings are your source of odor.  They can get quite nasty and slimy.  And with only four birds, I can' t imagine there being enough poop to stink up the coop area.  I agree with the other posts here that it doesn't sounds like a poop problem.  Just a thought.

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