bad smell in coop


May 20, 2015
I have 12 chickens in the coop and 5 more and 3 turkeys on the way (not old enough to lay yet) but there is a mildew smell coming from their straw but I'm going to replace it next weekend with wood shavings. Are they okay in the coop till then?
A mildewy smell would indicate a moisture issue - and moisture is a problem in that warm, wet places are a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties that can cause health issues in your birds. The type of bedding itself is not so much the problem as many folks are able to maintain a clean, dry coop using straw - and you can just as easily have the issue you are experiencing now with shavings. How large is your coop, how deep is the bedding and what is your general routine for maintaining the whole thing?
Have you had recent bad weather that could have resulted in moisture leaking in and/or is there a water station in the coop? How long has this bedding been in place? Knowing what your long-term management plan will help - for example, are you planning to use a deep litter method or a frequent stripping/replacing of the bedding approach? Do droppings expelled at night fall right to the litter or are you using any sort of catch such as a poop board? The time spent at roost is a time when a LOT of waste is expelled and chicken waste is very wet stuff.

With more birds on the way you will be best served by sorting out the underlying cause of the issue and taking corrective action sooner rather than later when you have more birds that could be contributing to the issue.
It has been raining a lot and I left up the coop open and rain got In but the straw us wet everywhere and I can't find a leek. I'm not using a poop board but I've noticed my chickens don't sleep on the roost they usually sleep in bundles of straw.

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