Arm & Hammer Baking soda????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fluffy-Butt-Farms, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Fluffy-Butt-Farms

    Fluffy-Butt-Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Central Florida
    ok, i had put a baby cow in my coop for a few days when it got really really cold. when it died on me (*way too long a story, dont buy from animal brokers) i dug out where it had peed and put in fresh dirt. I still have an ammonia smell, and because the coop is closed in, it still smells like ammonia. i dont have a place to get sweet lime. do you think i can use some arm & hammer baking soda on the ground and then put a layer of hay above it? I have some wheezy chickens and i'm pretty sure it's from the smell. I have them on antibiotics just in case.
     
  2. Bantimna

    Bantimna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    I have no idea of what to do [​IMG] but, someone here will know [​IMG]
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I would get some Stall Dri or Sweet PDZ which usually come in 40 lb bags for $10-15 depending on where you are. Those do absorb ammonia odors, being made for horse barns, and help dry out the place, but I think you need more ventilation. They need fresh air even in winter. Ammonia odor means that it's wet in there. Food Grade Diatomaceous earth also helps, but it's harder to find and pricier. Not sure I'd do baking soda since it has high salt content and they might ingest alot. And I'd not use hay or straw, but pine shavings.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    speckled hen has nailed it. Baking soda gets very wet, too which will add to the problem. The coop needs a serious clean-down, and bedding replaced as she says with wood shavings and a stall product. And get some vents in fast or you are going to have sick hens...in Canada many of us use a product called Stable Boy, so that's another choice.

    I'm sorry about your calf, it must have been sad, and frustrating.
     
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with speckled hen. You have a ventilation problem. I did 1 sq ft for each 4 chickens in my coop. Ended up with 6 sq ft permanent full-time ventilation in an 8 x 16 coop for 24 chooks. You could put baking soda around the coop in various places to soak up the odor, but you now have an urgent problem that has to be addressed, or you may well lose your flock.[​IMG]

    An old saying in poultry is "The healthiest chickens come from the sorriest coops." That saying was coined when people started to close their coops in more tightly because of predators, mice, etc. It is vital to have lots of permanent full-time ventilation at the top areas of the walls or above them in any coop if you want your birds healthy. Florida is a place of high humidity, so this is even more important there.[​IMG]
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Any feedstore in your area should have agricultural lime -- they may not CALL it 'sweet lime' but basically you just want ground limestone or anything like that that ISN'T "quicklime". Heck, a well stocked garden center will have it, for lawns and gardens [​IMG] One of the stall powders (stall dry, stable boy, sweet PDZ, whatever) would probably do a slightly better job, and again pretty much any feedstore should carry them or be able to order you a bag or two.

    And also it sure does sound like you need more ventilation. Not just a little, a GOOD BIT more. That will help a lot too, and will help FOREVER, with all your coop management issues, so it is very worth doing [​IMG]

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pat, you nailed it. If you are still smelling ammonia, that means you have residual uric acid in that spot, and plain old lime that you would put on your grass is the very best thing to neutralize the uric acid that is emitting the ammonia. Get the powdered lime instead of the pelletized lime, and mix some of it into the problem area.

    Pat, what about sprinkling a freshly cleaned coop with a fair amount of lime before laying in new litter? Lime is a source of calcium (mainly as calcium oxide) as well, so pecking at it would be better for chooks than baking soda. And along with good ventilation, use of some DE, and other coop management techniques that you always stress, would this not be a good thing to do??

    I see a lot of stress on using DE, and remedial use of stall-dry and other products once a problem develops. Wouldn't a handful of lime be good along with the fresh litter in a deep litter coop for preventing the buildup of ammonia?? Especially in cold weather when the moisture does not evaporate completely?? Might save some nasty surprizes when the thaw hits...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Do you mean, as a regular practice? I suppose one could, but I am not sure it would be worthwhile unless there is an actual problem occurring (e.g. the original poster's situation). [n.b. - calcium oxide is quicklime, which one would NOT NOT NOT want to be using in the coop, I believe that was a typo for calcium carbonate? Just don't want to see someone going out and seeing 'calcium oxide' on a bag of something and thinking 'oh good, that is just what I want!' [​IMG]/

    The best thing, in the o.p.'s situation, would be to *till in* the ag lime or sweet pdz or whatever. Sprinkling it on top is ok too, just not quite as effective for this sort of situation.

    Wouldn't a handful of lime be good along with the fresh litter in a deep litter coop for preventing the buildup of ammonia?? Especially in cold weather when the moisture does not evaporate completely?? Might save some nasty surprizes when the thaw hits...

    To be honest, I have not experienced it working that way with horse stalls or horse sheds (never tried with the chicken setup, though)... for instance, even if you scatter ag lime periodically in the horse run-in shed during winter, it still tends to stink to high heaven for a few days come the thaw, and it has not seemed any less stinky to me with lime "pre loaded" than without. Dunno, I'm certainly not saying this is the last word on the subject, but that's my experience.

    Pat​
     
  9. spammy

    spammy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
    I deep litter my coup. I put down baking soda bere adding fresh wood chips. Works great.
     
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chieftain- the 'lime' we want is calcium carbonate, (ground limestone), not calcium oxide (quicklime).
    Quicklime will burn the birds.
     

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