Chicken yard smells... How do you keep it fresh? And New here

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kevin D., Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Kevin D.

    Kevin D. In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2010
    Belleville, Ontario
    I have a chicken run and coop in the city... yes I know right! Anyway, it is starting to smell a bit nasty, and I was wondering what you members used to keep the smell down. I only have 4 hens, and it is a fairly large run, but the only thing is it is not movable.


  2. geese'n'chickenlovr

    geese'n'chickenlovr In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    Central Florida
    What method do you use for litter maitnence? is it shallow litter, or deep litter method? Because I do shallow once in a while but i just waste my shavings. Deep method doesn't stink as bad and saves you money on shavings.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  3. Keara

    Keara Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    Now I live in the country so I can only speak in a limited way to this.... but here goes.

    I've noticed the worst smell comes from wet feed, not so much the poop. If you can keep food waste/spillage to a minimum it should help with the smell. Though if the smell you speak of is ammonia based (i.e. chicken poop) than I would try lime.
  4. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Pacific NorthWest
    Sorry everyone, but I'm pretty new to keeping chickens.

    What does shallow or deep litter mean?

    And by lime, do you mean sprinkling lime powder on the floor of the runs?

  5. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Are you talking about the coop or the run...or both? In the coop using the 'deep litter method' means putting shavings down several inches deep (like 4-6 maybe). You can throw some scratch feed in it every couple of days and let the hens scratch around in it (mixes up the shavings) or you can mix it yourself with a rake or something. I would throw a few handfuls of Stall Dry or Sweet PDZ over it also (products made to keep ammonia smells and dampness down in horse stalls) or DE (diatomaceous earth) for prevention of mites. There are instructions here on the website that explain it better than I can, anyway, you shouldn't have to clean out the shavings but maybe a couple of times a year, or less, depends on how big your coop is, how many chickens, if you have a poop board, etc. For the run, you can rake out the poo every few days (again depends on how many chickens you have) but drainage in the run is very important. If it stays damp, it is gonna stink. Again, you can sprinkle the Stall Dry or Sweet PDZ (available at farm stores, TSC, farmers co-op). It doesn't take much, just sprinkle around to neutralize odors and help absorb wet. What is on the bottom of your run? Don't throw hay down, because it gets wet, stays wet, then stinks and is hard to get up.
  6. Kevin D.

    Kevin D. In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2010
    Belleville, Ontario
    Thanks Everyone!

    OK, My coop is really only an arch, so it is like a triangle. It will hold my 4 hens ( 3 LARGE brown layers, more like jersey giants... and 1 red sex-link layer.) I change the coop very couple days, but the run is really only packed dirt ( and poop) so I do not have the capability of hoseing it down.

    And it is true that it really only smells when it is wet.

  7. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Can you take a picture of your setup? We may be able to help you better if we can see what you have.
  8. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Get some DE diatomeaceous earth and sprinkle in run and inside coop. It kills insects like lice, mites and fleas, and also will help eliminate odor.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  9. kichohana

    kichohana Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC
    My girls coop has deep litter - about 4-6 inches of pine shavings. The girls have been in there for 3 months and I have not had to clean it yet. Their run has about 5-6 inches of sand. It's great - it works like a giant litter box. The girls love to "dust bathe" in the sand and dig around it. I have a small garden rake and a large kitty litter scoop i keep it cleaned up with. About once a week i sprinkle some DE in there to keep it fresh. It only smells on the hottest humid days - otherwise you can be right in there with them and smell nothing. [​IMG]
  10. HudsonValleyGirl

    HudsonValleyGirl In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2010
    My run for my 6 girls is just dirt. If I know it is going to rain, I put some shavings down. Every morning before I go to work I rake out their attached run, pick out their poop from their coop and I rake out their chicken yard. Doing this daily keeps the flies and smell at bay. I also sprinkle DE Down. Expecially in areas of poopage. [​IMG]

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