Chicken Smell (Inter-City Coop)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by seldenr, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. seldenr

    seldenr Hatching

    Jul 23, 2014

    I'm considering getting chickens, just 3 that would go in my backyard. I live in the city in Portland Oregon, which has a great chicken community. The one big concern that I have is the smell of chickens. I have friends with chickens that do not smell at all. They have droppings all over there coop and it smells fine. But I have also been around really smelly chicken coops. How often would I have to change the bedding of my coop? What is the common amount of time in between changings?
    My other question is about vacation. If I went away for many days but left my chickens in their enclosure, which would be a run that is fenced in on all six sides (top and underground), with a coop inside would they be okay for an extended period of time?

  2. lightchick

    lightchick Crowing

    Apr 3, 2014
    It depends on what type of bedding you use.
    I like deep litter...
    As for leaving them for long periods that should be fine as long as you have enough food stored up to last that long and lots of water too. It would be better if you could have somebody check on them when your gone too.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  3. seldenr

    seldenr Hatching

    Jul 23, 2014
    So if you use a deep litter method like shown in the article, how often do you have to clean it to keep the smell to a minimum?
    Thanks for your reply!
  4. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Most folks using deep litter change it twice a year. Usually spring and late fall.

  5. seldenr

    seldenr Hatching

    Jul 23, 2014
    And does it smell at all with this method?
  6. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I don't use deep litter anymore. I don't like what is going on in the bottom of the 'pile.' Many folks do us it and it works for them. You have to choose a management style that works for you and your flock. I think deep litter smells… but that is just me.

    I use pine shavings and PDZ with a drop board, to me that smells the best. But that is just my style, not a condemnation of other methods. I suppose it is like the many ways to skin a cat… everyone has their own way. Read the poop board thread that is always on the top of the forum here at BYC, read the deep litter thread, decide what you feel is best for your nose and your birds, accounting for your coop and number of birds.

    Best to you and your birds,

  7. mightymax

    mightymax Songster

    Oct 8, 2013
    Central Coast, CA
    X2 !!! I no longer use the deep litter method either. Not so much due to the smell as it was due to plain 'ol laziness. The location of my coop is such that it's nearly impossible for me to haul 6 months worth of poop soaked bedding all the way to the compost pile by myself without having a coronary! I find it way easier to just pick out the soiled spots on a daily basis and then do a light 'freshening up' every 4 weeks or so.
  8. 6of6chicks

    6of6chicks Songster

    Jun 9, 2014
    I think I'm doing a 'modified' sort of deep litter and it's working really well for me. I have 2-3" bed of pine shavings (thick enough to give orpingtons a soft landing), and every morning I do a quick scoop of the poop clumps under the roost. I keep a 5 gallon bucket w/ lid next to the coop (holes drilled in the sides & lid for ventilation) and toss the poop shavings in there. Once a week I dump the bucket in the compost bin and toss a few handfuls of new litter in the coop. I'm in the Gulf Coast Texas region, and even with the humidity my coop stays dry, doesn't smell, and I have no problem with flies.

    The litter scoop in the morning takes no longer than the folks who scoop sand, so I guess it's really the same thing, lol! I don't think it really matters what type of bedding you use. The key to keeping down the smell is staying on top of the cleaning!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What do your friends do?
  10. Sseckel

    Sseckel Songster

    Oct 20, 2013
    Homestead, IA
    I think the most important thing to consider for diminishing smell is ventilation and moisture control. If you can keep your bedding and run dry and have great ventilation then you wont have much if any odor regardless of how you bed them. But even a freshly kept coop will smell if moisture is allowed to build up. Make sure your coop has a great hat and boots (roof and foundation) and all should be fine.

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