coop/run can't keep up with the stink!!!!


9 Years
Jun 4, 2010
N. Ontario CANADA
So I didn't have an issue at all until about july, its been rather wet this summer. And Dh and I clean out coops and runs every sunday, we use DE and fresh straw, we disinfect all waterers and feeders as well. But nothing we do is getting rid of the smell in the coops or the runs. they free range, so those areas are fine, but holy smokes not sure what else to do to get rid of the ammonia smell. I want to avoid using LIME but there has to be something else I can use or do?? the ground in the coops are dirt floors, and the runs used to be grass. Oh I should mention, there is lots of ventilation as they are in their summer coops!!

Any ideas?? thanks in advance :)

Well, I'm thinking straw tends to hold odors, but I'm not entirely sure about that. You might want to go with deep litter bedding (shavings) in the coops; that will really cut down on the odor there. Don't know about the runs since I don't use those. Might be better to do two smaller cleanings a week rather than one big one. Hope others weigh in. That's a frustrating predicament.
You could build a "sand box" .

Lay down some landscape fabric over the entire run. Create a box on top of that with lumber (or cement blocks if you have some lying around) and fill with sand or dirt. This should keep everything drier. Much easier to clean and scoop.
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Have you tried pelletted pine bedding (for horses) Between the pine pellets and DE (diatomecious (sp?) earth) we have no smell

I have a friend who has kept chickens for 25 years and she was amazed at how my birds/brooder didn't stink... and now using them in the coop and they are great.

When it gets a little ripe you just sprinkle a layer of DE and put down some fresh pellets on top, and the girls scratch around and turn everything over.

The pellets are absorbant, and the DE drys out the poop & urine so it doesn't smell.

There is also a deodorizer they told me about at Del's Farm Supply - Stall Dry I think, but I have not tried it yet. If things get bad I will get some of that too.

Hope this helps, they really are an amazing product...
Use deep sand in the runs, so you can rake poop out easy, and use pine shavings or even pine pellets in the coop. The pine... GREAT!! Straw, I only use that in the nest boxes. Use the fine shavings, they break down easier in the compost. If your birds free range all day, then the run should be easier to clean up. I have nothing but earth in my run under the coop. Just rake it out and put in compost once a week. But my birds spend maybe an hour a day in it total... SO not much poop...
I want to avoid using LIME

There's no reason to avoid lime.

It works and will cause no harm IF you use pelletized or "Ag" lime, and NOT Hydrated Lime

DE is just a waste of money in an exposed run

we use DE and fresh straw

Switch to pine shavings and you'll be happier​
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Ema, What part of Northern Ontario? We used to have family up in the Wawa area, Farther up actually, Dubreville. Beautiful country up that way. My uncle passed but he Lived and worked in that town/village forEVER. Logging town. The flies! The bears! THE MOOSE!! WOW. Haven't been up there now in about 8 years...
I have not used pine pellets but then again they are hard to get here, pine shavings are super expensive around here too and hard to get where I live. most of us around here use straw. I always use deep littler method in winter, but its so hard to clean afterwards!!

I have been using straw for a while and never had this issue, I am not sure if its because it has rained so much. I am thinking I might be getting a load of sand and see if that helps. However I wonder if after I process the birds having less will make a difference :-S

I am in kapuskasing, quite north...and its a logging town, the flies are horrible right now, the bears are not so much a nuisance this year but the bobcats are. and the moose are still as amazing as ever, lol. I love it here, moved here from Windsor ontario in 2005 and I will never go back to a city, even though we only have a walmart, and one grocery store and but we do have 3 hardware stores ahahaha...

Its great here, winter are super long though!!!


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