1. alyzandra

    alyzandra Just Hatched

    Feb 11, 2017
    Southeast Missouri

    Okay, I have a real issue here. There is a terrible smell coming from my chicken coop! I want to say it could possibly be an ammonia smell, but it also smells sort of off. Sour almost? Sour ammonia? It's terrible. Here's the whole run-down:

    To start, we are novice chicken owners. This is our first set of hens, we have four rhode island reds. We purchased the coop at Tractor Supply, then hubby built the run and constructed the coop to it. We don't do the deep litter method, I clean their droppings out once or twice a day and add fresh bedding as needed, then clean the whole coop out once a week. I use coop and clean powder on the floor of the coop when it's the weekly cleaning time, then add the pine shavings, and even sprinkle chicken-friendly dried herbs on top of the bedding every now and again.

    The bottom of the coop, as well as the run is a mixture of dirt, sand, and pea gravel. That is also cleaned up of droppings regularly and I also rake it around pretty regularly.

    We have a 4 gallon water bucket with drinking nipples, and hubby constructed a PVC type feeder where the girls can eat from either their run or under the coop.

    I can't for the life of me figure out where or why or what this atrocious smell is! It's making me crazy, and I also don't want to upset my neighbors being that we live in town. I have no idea what it is, how to remedy it, or really even where it's coming from.

    I am a nurse and am very familiar with the ammonia smell that can come from urine, but this is slightly different. It's very strong and honestly pretty assaulting to smell. Please help me! I'm just at a loss and not sure how much more I could clean this dang thing. No amount of scrubbing seems to suffice either.

    Any input is greatly appreciated!
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    That smell is coming from chicken poop. Since you're cleaning the coop weekly, I suggest that you scrub the coop out
  3. rbreininger

    rbreininger Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2017
    SW Wyoming


    Do the chickens have a roost at night? Is there a poop tray?

    My hens roost overnight over a poop tray that is filled with SweetPDZ (Stall Refresher). It adsorbs the ammonia and my coop doesn't smell. I clean out the tray with a kitty litter type scoop every couple days.

    The floor of the coop is shavings and rarely has any poop in it and the run is straw and I don't have problem there either.
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    Our coop also has the roost over a tray filled with Sweet PDZ and pine flakes on the floor. Since most poop is concentrated under the roost and the PDZ absorbs the odor and moisture, there isn't a chance for things to get stinky. We sift it out everyday or two.
  5. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop
    Hard to tell from the pic but is there ventilation in the coop itself? The smell is coming from the interior of the coop or from the run or under the coop? Wet chicken poop smells to high heaven. Dry chicken poop, not so much so it's super important to have something in place to dry out the poop and enough ventilation for the moisture to escape. Guessing your smell is a serious lack of ventilation. As has already been mentioned, we have a poop try with PDZ under the roosts. Regular pine shavings on the floor. We do deep bedding so there is about a foot of shavings in the coop. Zero smell. We, I mean Cheryl...lol...cleans the poop tray every few days. Just cleaned out the coop for the first time in a year.

    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014

    If you are cleaning the coop that often, I'm willing to bet the smell is coming from the soil/gravel of the run.
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by