Bigger coop is smelly but smaller one isn’t. 🤔

Smileybans

Crowing
Nov 13, 2020
1,479
3,269
286
Upstate New York
So I have two runs. One was a 10x10 catio I converted into a quarantine run for birds I got late this year. They have a 30”x4’ pallet coop. There’s four birds in this coop. Every morning it smells.
The other coop I have is a converted playhouse that’s maybe 3x3 inside with 8 birds. Too many I know. But it never smells. The playhouse has a 12x12 run. All the birds are around the same age, 13-19 weeks. I do the deep litter method in both coops. Adding and turning new litter once a week. The litter is pine shavings.
My question is, how come the one coop with less birds smells more and how can I help it to not? Or is it inevitable? These are temporary winter set ups. Come spring I’m getting an 8x10 shed and everyone is moving to that.
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catio coop and run
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Catio birds and coop. The food doesn’t stay there overnight. They just won’t come out into the snow.
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Main run
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Playhouse coop. This picture is from my camera in the run during the snow storm. But it’s the only one I had of the coop. The smaller coop in there is a chick coop to get the big birds used to the babies I hatch.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,355
27,196
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Germany
For one, the non smelly coop might have better ventilation than the smelly coop.

Secondly, younger birds have different metabolism and poop less than laying hens.

Thirdly, it might be caused by the feed in case you have starter/grower for the youngsters and layer feed for the adults.

Or it might even be all three things together.

ETA: The smell might be emanating from the pallets.
 

Smileybans

Crowing
Nov 13, 2020
1,479
3,269
286
Upstate New York
For one, the non smelly coop might have better ventilation than the smelly coop.

Secondly, younger birds have different metabolism and poop less than laying hens.

Thirdly, it might be caused by the feed in case you have starter/grower for the youngsters and layer feed for the adults.

Or it might even be all three things together.

ETA: The smell might be emanating from the pallets.
The ventilation is probably a part of it. I’ve tried to get better ventilation without it being too cold but then we got a ton of snow and it ruined that. The pullets in the pallet coop are around the same age as the ones in the main coop. Just never got a chance to integrate because of the storm. And they’re all on flock raiser. But you have some very valid points. The pallets are covered in plastic, it was supposed to be a very temporary coop, that had some air holes at the top. If I make bigger air holes in the plastic would that help? Or because the wood is pallet wood it’s always going to smell?
 

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
370
648
186
Canada
if you use deep litter and have smelly coop look for poop that was laid not on deep litter floor. Examples could be roosts, on top of the nests, inside rafters, window seals, etc. Just one pile can do "wonders".
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,355
27,196
932
Germany
The pallets are covered in plastic, it was supposed to be a very temporary coop, that had some air holes at the top. If I make bigger air holes in the plastic would that help? Or because the wood is pallet wood it’s always going to smell?

As long as there will be no draft, any added ventilation will be good.

Regarding the pallets you could go and take a good smell at them to determine whether it might even be something harmful like mould or pesticides or else.
 

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
370
648
186
Canada
I do the deep litter method in both coops.

View attachment 2457321
just to make sure - you know this is not a deep litter coop in the picture. The proper deep litter is at least 6", preferably a foot of bedding, To do that you can put removable 1x8" or plywood across the bottom of the door opening and fill it with anything suitable you have on hand such as fall leaves or wood shavings.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,902
35,874
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
just to make sure - you know this is not a deep litter coop in the picture.

x2. Rather than add more litter and turn, I think you need to do cleanouts instead. The litter isn't going to compost well like this, and the build up of poop is adding extra moisture to a coop that's already lacking in ventilation.
 

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