Detecting slight ammonia odor

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BearSwampChick, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    So, I'm using the DLM in my coop. I rake every day and add new litter about once a month. The litter isn't wet or even damp. There is a lot of ventilation. I've been keeping both windows open and they're perpendicular to each other. I run a fan on days that temps are above 80. The past couple of days I've been detecting a slight ammonia odor. What do I need to add to get rid of this? Lime, DE, Stall-Dry, sweet pdz, or a combination of two or more? So far, I haven't used any of these products.
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    To me, any hint of ammonia smell means you need to add more litter. That always took care of it for me, when I was first starting out. I've never used anything other than shavings in the coop, unless I needed to add DE for a mite problem, and haven't had a problem with smell. We've never used any fans, but did add windows for the hot, humid summers here.

    I don't know how others do it, but for DLM I add litter a lot more frequently than once a month. I don't add a lot at one time, just a light scattering over the top where it looks like it needs it, like under roosts or any other more heavily pooped in area. This is more like every few days. I like to keep a feed scoop in the top of the litter container, in the corner.

    I've also never raked the litter. I guess that would be effected by your square footage per hen. I really like 5 sq. ft. per hen. I've read that at 4 sq. ft. per hen, you get a little poop crusting on the surface that needs to be broken up and mixed in a couple of times a week, at 3 you get more and at 5 you don't have any. I wish I could remember where I read that!

    Anyway, sometimes it just takes a little while to get the hang of managing a particular coop. I suspect there are multiple ways to do DLM, just like anything else. You might want to try the light sprinkle more frequently method. [​IMG]
  3. When you rake an area back, try adding a sprinkle of Stall-Dri, StableBoy or DE on the floor. Check for any damp spots, there might be something near the waterer or its stand. Also check under nest box bedding and in crevices where it might accumulate. I find that the spot behind my door sill is often filled with manure because the girls like to sun themselves there late in the day.

    I use both DE and StableBoy with pine shavings, perfectly safe and amazingly effective. I have only 12 birds so the job is quite easy.

    Another way of cutting down on manure is daily scraping of roosts, platforms or shelves into a catch-bucket. A paint scraper is an invaluable tool in cutting down on manure.

    We've had unusually hot weather too along with humidity and I think that the manure is more susceptible to breakdown in these conditions.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  4. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    I use sweet PDZ you can buy at most feed stores.
  5. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Thanks everyone! I will take all suggestions into consideration. I don't think sweet pdz is available around here, but will do more research on availability. Thanks again!
  6. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    I get my sweet PDZ at Tractor Supply. It's also avail. at the mill where I buy feed. Chances are you can find it. I paid $9 for a big bag.
  7. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    That is really odd that you would make this post - I had the same trouble a few weeks ago. I continued my regular routine while trying to track down the cause, but it went away on its own after two or three days. strange.....
  8. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Quote:I assume you're in Indiana, so maybe because we have the same weather?
  9. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    I had the same thought.
  10. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    My hens have been in their coop for a few months now and I added pine shavings one time so far. I smell nothing at all from them! Only pine scent [​IMG] NOw, I do realize that when I do get my flock up to where I want it that it will most likely be worse but I'm enjoying the NO smell while I can! LOL I LOVE pine shavings for the coop! I can't change...hubby wants to switch to straw (cheaper) but I have hear bad things about straw and the smell from I won't switch.

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