Cutting down on urine smell in garage

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dairy Lane, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Dairy Lane

    Dairy Lane Hatching

    Jan 18, 2019
    Hi all, first post. Thank you to all who contribute any advice or tips.
    We reluctantly took in a couple hens from a friend who was getting out of layers. They appeared healthy and we introduced to our healthy girls. Within a a bit we noticed a cough, so instantly separated the new one with the cough, next thing you know all have it. It was at the point where they were gurgling. Even with heat etc, nothing helped them. We ended up taking them into the garage to try to nurse. We put sheets of plywood on the floor, then a huge dog pen around. Put up a roost, foot and hay and shavings like in the coop.
    Our problem is that the plywood seems to really be absorbing the smell of the urine. We completely clean it out with fresh hay and shavings every three to four day, but the smell it horrible in the garage. It's evident that its the plywood that is retaining the smell.

    Just wondering what others have used who have them in a garage? Have you tried marine grade plywood with the sealant they use?? or any ideas??? We cannot introduce them back to the coop at this point till it warms up as it's -30C and would be too much of a shock i think.
    Any help with that smell, or what to use instead of plywood that is cost effective would be fantastic. Thank you
  2. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

    May 17, 2016
    My Coop

    Sorry to hear about this :( how many chickens are you planning up? Can you post some pictures? If they were in a large coop before with outside access you may just have to clean it a lot more often.

    ETA: cracking a window in the garage during the day will help allow the ammonia to escape as well. Since most attached garages are somewhat sealed up the lack of ventilation is playing a big part as well.
    ConnieA likes this.
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I agree with opening a window for at least a few hours a day.

    I would put down a tarp under bedding.
    ConnieA, ChickNanny13 and Wyorp Rock like this.
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome To BYC!

    I'm very sorry to hear this, it sounds like you are dealing with a respiratory disease. Are all of your chickens sick now?
    How many do you have in the garage?
    Are you treating them with anything?
    Where are you located in the world (state/country)?

    If you would like to share photos or more information about the symptoms you see those are welcome too.

    Good suggestions so far!
    What about using rubber stall mats instead of plywood? You could also sprinkle some PDZ on top of the mats to help absorb the moisture and odor, but you still need to provide ventilation to remove ammonia, odors and bring in fresh air. If there is a strong ammonia smell, that is not good for the chickens - it could exacerbate their respiratory symptoms and it's not good for you to breath either.

    Just some thoughts. Please keep us posted.
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  5. Clucking_Crazy

    Clucking_Crazy Songster

    Apr 5, 2018
    Central Illinois
    We used a 10'x10' chain link dog kennel for a brooder in our garage. I just used a thick layer of bedding directly on the concrete floor. I removed soiled bedding and replaced as needed. Afterwards just mopped the concrete floor with some bleach water.

    The floor was no worse for the wear, and with a few exceptions of a fresh poo hitting a spot of bare concrete, you could not tell that chickens had been brooding there for weeks before mopping. After mopping, floor was spotless.

    *I did use a short roll of chicken wire around bottom portion to keep the bedding under better control and inside the fencing.
    ChickNanny13 and Wyorp Rock like this.
  6. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

    Apr 26, 2017
    Fools Gold
    The smell can be dangerous for their health as well. I'd open a window during the day to help air it out.

    Maybe buy a sheet of linoleum, which is what I use in my coop floor (very easy to clean). You can scrub it down as needed. A thick layer of bedding will also help.
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    2x Wyorp Rock & Clucking_Crazy...Abriana
    Put an inch layer of PDZ on a sheet of linoleum & shavings on top of it. You need to ventilate the garage, crack open windows, the garage door to let fresh air in but not enough to allow predators in & get a fan (facing away from the hens) to move the air.

    How many are in the garage?
    Wyorp Rock and Abriana like this.
  8. ConnieA

    ConnieA Songster

    Mar 9, 2015
    [QUOTE="... Afterwards just mopped the concrete floor with some bleach water..."

    I strongly suggest NOT using bleach to clean up after chickens.

    Concrete is porous and will hold onto both ammonia and bleach. Ammonia plus bleach will definitely be bad for the chickens' respiratory systems, and yours as well, not to mention the car paint.

    It's difficult to do the deep litter method in a garage, and I know only a few people who have done it the right way. You may find it easier to use a raised cage over newspaper or tarp that can be easily taken outside and cleaned.

    I agree with the other posts that ventilation is important for the health of the chickens. They produce a lot of moisture, and a damp living space is not healthy for their respiratory systems, either.
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  9. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    2x ConnieA ... I've learned the hard way not to mix bleach with anything. I was thinking a "modified" version of DLM ... thick layer of PDZ help with the smell & wetness & shavings which also helps with absorption & smell. However, the dog wire cages with the slide out trays is the best idea depending how many birds the OP is talking about.
  10. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

    Nov 21, 2018
    Sweet PDZ. you can get it a TSC or any other feed store I would think. BTW chickens don't pee.
    ConnieA and ChickNanny13 like this.

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