Coop smelling real good after pine needles thrown into litter

gtaus

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
3,740
14,394
677
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
It's been a long winter here in northern Minnesota, but currently the temps are in the low 50F's. I still have a number of weeks before I do my spring clean out of the coop. Last fall I laid down a nice base of wood chips in the coop. As the winter progressed, I would throw in some shredded paper and leaves from last fall. That keeps things (frozen poo) covered in the coop and a bit cleaner to look at. Also, that shredded paper and old leaves are good for composting later in the spring. Anyway, a few days ago the temps got above freezing and all the leaves I had thrown into the coop started to smell a bit musky and dusty. Not really bad, but I am used to the nice smell of the wood chips.

So I took out my little Sun Joe electric chipper and chipped up some branches that had fallen to the ground over the winter. I spread the wood chips out on the coop litter and that made everything smell better again. Today, I chipped up some pine branches and some of the branches had green pine needles on them. I spread that out in the coop and, boy, does it smell good and fresh. Mind you, the coop still has all the winter droppings in the coop mixed into the wood chips. But when you open up the coop door, it now smells like a pine forest.

I don't know what other people do to keep their coops clean and smelling good, but I am a big fan of using wood chips. For me, that is about the best system as the chicken poo just magically disappears into the chips and the chips seem to knock down any ammonia smell. At the first moment I detect any "chicken" smell in the coop, I will either fluff up the chips, or in the winter, throw down another layer of chips on the litter. Very little maintenance required. The fresh pine chips and needles I threw into the coop today just really has a pleasant smell so I thought I would post about it in case anyone else is considering using pine needles as litter in the coop.
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
775
1,336
221
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
We also chip/thread our down pine trees. In the fall, I took some empty chicken feed bags and filled them with the pine chips. They then were stored in the shop, as the pile outside would be covered in snow, during winter.

I use poop board, so the floor stays clean.
 

gtaus

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
3,740
14,394
677
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
In the fall, I took some empty chicken feed bags and filled them with the pine chips.
That's a good idea. I think I will do that next winter. Only maybe fill the bags only half full of wood chips so they are not so heavy for me. Also, I have lots of empty feed bags just looking for reuse. Probably bag some leaves too. Never can have too many wood chips or leaves in storage.
 

gtaus

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
3,740
14,394
677
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I use poop board, so the floor stays clean.
I don't have any problem with chicken poo using wood chips in non-winter months. Spring, summer, and fall the chicken poo disappears into the wood chips on their own. Only in the winter will the poo freeze and build up on top of the chips. Instead of a poop board, I just throw down wood chips, shredded paper or leaves on top of the poo during the winter. In the spring, everything gets shoveled out and replaced with a fresh layer of wood chips. It works for me.
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
775
1,336
221
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
That's a good idea. I think I will do that next winter. Only maybe fill the bags only half full of wood chips so they are not so heavy for me. Also, I have lots of empty feed bags just looking for reuse. Probably bag some leaves too. Never can have too many wood chips or leaves in storage.
Yeah. I leave enough room at the top so I can roll the top down closed, then put some duct tape on it.
 

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