Controlling Odor

Chicken Digital

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2015
9
1
20
My chicken coop is currently housed on a Dirt. I know that Cedar Shavings aren't recommended to use as a substrate. Do any of you know of anything else I can use in their coop and run to reduce odors??
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,037
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
My chicken coop is currently housed on a Dirt. I know that Cedar Shavings aren't recommended to use as a substrate. Do any of you know of anything else I can use in their coop and run to reduce odors??

Are you currently experiencing a bad odor from the coop and run? If so, what are the dimensions of each, how many birds are being housed in it and what is your current maintenance routine? What type of odor is it you are smelling? I ask because a well maintained, properly stocked chicken housing area really should have little to no odor to it. Generally when there is bad odor it comes down to moisture, improper maintenance, etc. - all of which is more of an issue if overcrowding is involved.
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
8 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
201
216
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
Dirt is the perfect flooring to utilize the Deep Litter method for waste. A good thread explaining this method can be found here - https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/643302/results-from-first-year-with-deep-litter-method

Keep adding organic matter - pine shavings, sawdust, leaves, shredded paper, mulch - most anything organic that you can get your hands on. If you notice odor, you need to add more organic matter or increase your ventilation. Ventilation is vital no matter what method you use.

Your dirt floor will add the microbes and bacteria necessary to break down the litter naturally and turn it into wonderful compost for your garden. Lucky you as I'd love to have a dirt floor in my coop!
 

Chicken Digital

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2015
9
1
20
I have 4 hens, in an area approximately 12' x 12' that contains their run and coop. There is plenty of ventilation as well. I try to clean the feces out from the coop area approximately every 1-2 weeks.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,037
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I have 4 hens, in an area approximately 12' x 12' that contains their run and coop. There is plenty of ventilation as well. I try to clean the feces out from the coop area approximately every 1-2 weeks.

That is likely the issue - the cleaning every 1-2 weeks. Even with just four hens, that's going to be a considerable amount of waste that is building up between cleanings. Do you have a droppings board in the coop or is the waste accumulating on the floor? Do you have any bedding in the coop at the moment? Maybe a photo or two would help to better envision what is going on and where/how changes might be made that could make this chicken venture more enjoyable for you and the birds.

ETA - *if* your coop is such that the deep litter method mentioned above would be feasible that is a great way to keep daily 'work' to a minimum and still have no odor issues. A droppings board beneath the roost can really cut cleaning time to a minimum as well as it gathers all the feces expelled overnight in one quick, easy to clean place - toss a little PDZ on the board and it's like cleaning a litter box, plus the PDX dries the poop and helps control odor. I have poop boards and do DLM in my coop - I clean the coop 1-2 times a year, and the poop boards get sifted several times a week (usually daily). My run is dirt that is currently covered with some hay left over from covering the snow for my finicky birds this winter and a bunch of shavings that were tossed out during my last round of attention to the DLM in the coop. I spend maybe 5-10 minutes a day on "chicken chores" (poop board, feed and water filling, etc) and have virtually no odor out of a 17 bird flock (soon to be 22 when the newest babies make the move to the big girl coop)
 
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Mtn Laurel

Songster
8 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
201
216
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I have 4 hens, in an area approximately 12' x 12' that contains their run and coop. There is plenty of ventilation as well. I try to clean the feces out from the coop area approximately every 1-2

A total of 144 sq. ft. with 4 birds gives you 36 sq. feet per bird which is plenty roomy.

I have 8 hens in a 20 sq. ft. coop. They have a separate run, as well. As I do deep litter, if there's odor I add straw or pine shavings or other organic matter. I don't take anything out - I don't remove droppings from the coop or run - I just add organic matter. I clean out the coop once a year and compost the old litter for my garden. I don't have any schedule for cleaning out the run. As far as the coop, I will take any build up of droppings from under the roosting area and toss it to the floor on one side of the coop, covering with a bit of organic matter. I do this about every other day.

I have absolutely no odor, even after our recent rainy days. I do not use any additives, no DE, no lime, nothing other than organic matter. Should I detect odor, I just pile on some more shavings or straw.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,576
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
x2...same routine here. Last month I cleaned mine for the first time in a year. And now that I have a better understanding of deep litter, I may not have to do it even yearly. Beekissed hasn't done hers in a couple of years and the rich, composted litter she has built up in her set up is amazing!
 

JaceAgain

Songster
5 Years
Feb 24, 2014
430
47
118
Coastal NC
Mine is housed on dirt, and I never clean it full out, Id just scoop the poop under their roost after a couple weeks. But I did recently install a poop board with PDZ, because I was tired of bending over, it works really well. It never stinks though, it has good ventilation, a screen door and a window so the air exchange is good. I have 5 chickens in a 4x8 shed.
Edit, reading through, mine are "free range" in a fenced acre, and they are only in their coop at night for the most part.
 
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