Chicken Run Question!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MrsHauke14, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. MrsHauke14

    MrsHauke14 New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    Hello!!
    About once-twice a month we go out to the chicken runs which are both attached to the coops to turn over the dirt and add in new dirt as we go. The question is, as we turn the dirt "of course with the help of our birds :)[​IMG]" we both notice a horrible smell of ammonia coming from the dirt itself. Is there any way to help with that smell by adding lime in with the dirt? We turn the dirt over and take some out to add in a bit of new dirt so the chickens are not walking in there poop and also to have fresh dirt to scratch in. The actual coop itself is cleaned regularly and we have never noticed a horrible moldy/ammonia smell from the coops only from the dirt once it has been turned. The first coop and run houses 2 Lavender Orpington Hens, a English Splash Hen, and One Lavender Rooster. The dimensions of the "Large Run" is 16x20. The second coop and run houses 2 Chocolate Orpinton Bantam hens and the dimension of the run is 4x8. Any advise is greatly appreciated by us and the chickens!!
    Thank You![​IMG]
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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  3. MrsHauke14

    MrsHauke14 New Egg

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    Thank you!!!
     
  4. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are your runs covered? The reason I'm asking is because mine are all covered and I never turn or change out the dirt and I never had an odor issue. Mine stays dry and the manure just dries up and breaks down into the dirt. After another year or so I'll move some of the dirt out of the run and into the garden and put fresh dirt/sand in but that's only to take advantage of the composted manure in the dirt and not due to any smell. I know when run dirt is wet it can get pretty nasty. Anyway just a thought if you haven't considered it.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Oh what awful and unnecessary chore!!
    Get some dry plant materials in there pronto to help 'eat up' the manure.
    Even just a thin layer of straw will help immediately.....then add more and a mix of dry plant material.

    This shows 'deep litter' in a coop, but it works great for a run too.

    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037998/muddy-run-help-please#post_16017992
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  6. MrsHauke14

    MrsHauke14 New Egg

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    Half of the run is covered and half is uncovered on both of the runs. It's the uncovered part that smells like ammonia but like I mentioned only when the dirt is turned.
     
  7. MrsHauke14

    MrsHauke14 New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017


    Oh thank you! That would be a good idea!
     

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