amonia smell when cleaning coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ctjim, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. ctjim

    ctjim Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    i use the deep litter method and yesterday while doing my usual 2month cleaning, the coop had an amonia smell to it, which i haven't had b4. is there anything i can put down to prevent that? i think it was caused by the humid weather we've had the past month or so. any help would be great. thanks jim
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    The ammonia smell is caused by the chicken's urine...You could try DE or Sweet Pdz or even baking soda.
  3. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    I also use Sweet PDZ and DE and haven't notice any ammonia smell.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  4. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I have noticed that the DE is not enough in my coop. I also use the deep litter method and change about every 2 months or so. I have a huge tray (5'x2' storage container lid) under the roosts which does a nice job of collecting the poop. I empty it out every couple days...MAN does it PILE up! [​IMG] I also have a little shrub rake that I hang in the coop and shake up the litter every so often which helps. I sprinkle DE liberally every week or two. BUT I'm still getting the amonia smell. I was thinking of using the Sweetpdz also...I'll give it a go and tell you how it works out.
    Will the amonia smell be more prevalent in the summer versus winter?
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    The more moisture the more prevalent. Summer is usually warm so things dry out.
  6. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Thanx Spotted Crow...I just cleand the coop and its dry on the floor..but man the smell! I sprinkled DE and baking soda...smells much better. I'm going to let the floor sit for half a day...then put in the deep litter pine shavings. Dumped all the used litter in the veggies are going to be HUGE next year! (-:
    silkiechicken...I'm going to thin the flock for the winter I think...I've enough room per bird...just worrying about winter fighting because they are free range all summer!
    Put an add on to sell 8 of my girls! [​IMG]
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Every coop is it's own little ecosystem and this is just my experience with deep litter.

    Any time I ever smell ammonia in the coop I toss more litter on the floor. That takes care of it for me. It's only a problem for me, when the amount of litter and the amount of chicken poop is out of balance. When you have a stinky compost pile, you generally have too much of the wet/nitrogen/green stuff, compared to the dry/carbon/brown stuff. I manage the coop the same way, only in this case, the chicken poop is the nitrogen and the litter is the carbon.

    At 5 sq. ft. per chicken, I don't need to remove or break up poop on the surface of the litter. The chickens just mix it all in on their own, although I usually scatter some litter under the roosts and occasionally in the main area.

    At 3-4 sq. ft., it's my understanding that you do get some poop crusting on the surface, that you have to breakup and stir in. The denser the population is, the more this becomes a problem. In a more densely populated coop, I would definitely recommend removal, rather than stirring it in. More frequent cleaning is just the price you have to pay for more beauty per square foot.

    In general, poop that is just sitting around piled on top of litter, a tray or a board is going to release ammonia and smell. Poop that is mixed into the litter is not going to release ammonia and smell.

    I've cleaned out the coop after 6-12 months and not smelled ammonia. I'm wondering, if you are smelling ammonia only as you are cleaning it out, if it's because the litter has stratified and the layer at the bottom is much wetter and more densely packed than the top layer. Then when you disturb it, the ammonia is being released. I ran into this when doing weekly cage cleaning of guinea pigs bedded on pelleted litter. It smelled ok, until I dug down to the bottom. [​IMG]

    I've never used any DE or Sweet PDZ in my coop.
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I use woodshavings on my coop floor with a mixture of DE and Dry Stall....(same thing almost I think as Sweet PDZ) odors at all...with 24 chickens...
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Most horse owners have to stall their horses at least some of the time. That means urine, stinky stalls, ammonia, and other odors that are a hazard to your horses health.

    Sweet PDZ is the leading stall freshener on the market and is the odor control and deodorizer of choice for thousands of horse, pet and livestock owners. Sweet PDZ is an all-natural, non-hazardous and non-toxic mineral. It captures, neutralizes and eliminates harmful levels of ammonia and odors. Sweet PDZ is a far superior alternative to lime products for ammonia removal and moisture absorption. Don’t risk compromizing your horse’s performance.

    Ammonia is a health risk to your animals. The accumulation of ammonia in horse stalls and barns is more than an odor nuisance. Studies have concluded that low levels of ammonia stresses a horse’s upper respiratory airways placing them at risk of pneumonia, heaves, and other serious illnesses. Foals are especially vulnerable to these ailments. Sweet PDZ absorbs and neutralizes ammonia and odors while providing fresh and safe air for your horse in it’s stall.

    I found this information from an advertiser on the web, but it could apply to all animals.
  10. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I have 5 sq ft per bird. They onlyuse ONE roosting bar and the other 3 go unused. The deep litter method works...and the top layer is always caked...until I mix it into the bottom layer which releases a wonderful pine scent. I do believe the tray (which I placed in as a test in hopes it would save me some work) was the problem. I sprinkled DE on the tray...but after 2 weeks it was so wet and filled that I took it out. Even with dumping the tray every other day I was still getting the amonia smell.
    I'm still going to thin my flock...24 in a 12x12 coop is still yielding a TON of poop for me mostly under the roosts. My coop is one side roosts and one side nests. The nest side is smelling fine...litter dry!
    Is the sweet PDZ a spray or powder? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007

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