Can't you smell that smell???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OliviaDeHav, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2010
    Ok, I am at my wits end here! I know it must be the coop, but I just can't figure out how IT is the source of the smell!!! I will explain, and maybe someone can clue me in here...

    We had a woodshed with a small shed attached (a 9x10 walk in shed all up off the ground by 2-7 inches, less in the back - more in the front) THIS was to become our coop.
    As you can see we insulated with Blueboard to keep the heat out in the summer and heat inside in the winter. We put four 6x6 vents in the ceiling going up into the space between - whcih is about 6 inches - the goes out back to the open back where we put hardware cloth - it is working VERY well - NO smell INSIDE the coop at all!!!
    As you can see these two are in the back, then we have 2 more up front, no smell inside the coop! yea!
    Here is the coop and run:
    the chicken door is open all day unless we are gone - the coop is in sight all day from the house and in ear shot - NO issues at all with safety. I have had the large window out on warmer days and tarped the run during those super hot days to keep the window shaded. Fortunately the sun is only on the coop for 3-4 hours a day.

    We insulated, put DE inside all the walls prior to putting up the walls to prevent moisture and bugs (mites ect...) have vinyl flooring and use pine shavings from the horse farm with DE inbetween the layers.... we clean out frequently. But as i said there is NO smell inside! it is outside!!!! and it smells like a DEAD rodent!!!!!!!!! The smell started BEFORE they even moved in - it was THAT day they moved in and i notice on the front corner on the left there was this smell OUTSIDE like a dead mouse or something. Years ago i had one or two die in my ceiling of my finished basement in my old house and that smell is unmistakable!!! [​IMG] So we raked out and raked out under the coop and put a good dose of DE down.
    It smells off and on - more ON with hot humid days... again. NO smell inside, but to be around the coop outside at times is really unpleasant. We rake every day - no really - every single day we rake out the run - sometimes two times. we DE around the outside of the run and coop as well as inside to help with moisture and bugs. i just don't get where this smell is coming from or HOW to get rid of it. Even after taking ALL the shavings out and starting from square ONE - it still smelled - but OUTside....
    Any ideas????? I am a neat/clean freak and am really hyper sensitive to smells - this is driving me crazy! [​IMG]

  2. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I thought I had a dead animal in the back brush area sort of near my coop last year. Turned out it was just the outside chicken run. Once the chicken poop got all wet and moist, reeeeeked! Hot and humid here. I ended up covering the run to keep some of the wetness off and it helped. I don't have that issue out in the main yard where it is grassy (and poopy ha ha). eta: my main yard is a half acre so the poop is well spread out.

    Smelled very similar to a dead animal. But was my poopy chicken run. Blech!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  3. bowiebenson

    bowiebenson Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2010
    is it possible something died underneath the building or got boxed in somehow...... the wind is probably pushing the smell around.... great coop by the way....

    Do you have a ny fruit trees nearby... i know our trees drop fruit the rolles far away and after it starts to ferment and the bugs get to it.. it really reaks... you can also check for holes from tunneling rodents that might have tunneled underneath and died for whatever reason...

    if it had been wet it could also be a amall rodents or something moving food under the coop and once it gets moist there it can get to smelling like somehting dead... just sugestions.... all things we have actually come across just this summer with chickens......

    oh and i won't forget..... if an egg was laid and rolled someplace you can't see outside.... oh boy can that stink.. and it won't go away till you seek it out or it pops and finally airs out... might even be covered by a little dirt.... if you do find it..... grab it with a plastic bag because you don't want anything that rank exploding on you... treat it like a bomb!
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Looks to me like something died under your coop. That's a big opening right up front. Either use a stick to drag it out [​IMG] or wait for it to finish decomposing?

    Good luck, that's the worst kind of smell ever.
  5. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    First of the "smell diagram"! [​IMG]

    I agree with an earlier could be the chicken poop itself if water drains down toward the chicken coop and gets any poop REAKS like a dead animal. I see that the yard slopes down toward the coop, so if it smells worse on rainy/wet days, that might very well be the problem. [​IMG]

    However, taking into account every precaution you made w/ DE, etc, etc. What about sulfur? Is it possible you have a sulfur spring and aren't aware? We have a town nearby that on certain days reaks to high heavens (like dead animal) [​IMG] , and other days you wouldn't know they had a sulfur spring in the heart of town!

    Brimstone smells like a fart, so I doubt it is that. [​IMG]

    Do you have a dog, or can you borrow someone's dog? A jack russel or rat terrier? They can find the source pretty quick if it is a mouse (rat).

    If you find the source, keep us posted. I'm curious. [​IMG]
  6. Green_Eggs_and_Ham

    Green_Eggs_and_Ham Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    I once had a neighbor who had a HUGE mole die in her yard. It was just a half foot underground. IT STUNK!!! They had to dig the area out to find it. We lived in a residential area at the time so the pressure on them to do something was pretty big.

    Could be something died UNDERground??

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  7. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    I agree--something died under your coop. Try a couple of bags of Stall-Dry or equivalent. It will help soak up really help dispel the odor. It breaks down very well, and isn't toxic to your birds.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  8. kingdr85

    kingdr85 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Madison-Columbus WI
    Hopefully is not trapped between the insulation and the outside wall!!!!
  9. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    I had a mouse die in the engine of my truck, which I drove everyday. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Eventually, you'll be rid of it. In the meantime, get some Vicks Vaporub, and dab it under your nose, and you'll never smell it.
  10. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2010
    Ok... was jsut chatting with the kids (adults - but my kids) and they reminded me - oh getting old [​IMG] - that I complained of the smell a week before the chickens moved in as we were building the coop itself!! oh boy! i have no idea... i think those of you mentioning something DEEP underground - like a big old mole [​IMG] might be a possibility!! We can't dig up where it is.... will it effect the chicken's health??? That is part of my concern is their health...
    We rake the run at least 2 times a day and it only smells in those areas on the edge of the coop where the run meets the coop.... BUT if it smelled as we were building... now i have to think back... [​IMG]
    I will try the super dry out stuff... but we try to keep all chemicals away from the chicken is that Stall-Dry 9 harsh?
    Oh and under we can reach with rock rakes etc.... i've had my poor hubby out there raking out under the coop itself MANY times and putting DE under it to help dry it out...
    I went out today and it is like 50 degrees out there and I noticed the smell in the front where my arrow in the corner is... We did have RAT poison in the shed down in the way front yard.... and the mice did go away.... but they usually go to look for water and die and my hubby found several down near the front shed, not far from it... and if they died 6 weeks ago they'd not smell any longer.... not that strong.... I'm befuddled on this one... [​IMG]
    You all came up with some great suggestions as to what it might be.....
    Any other thoughts????

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