flies and bad odors in the runs...what to do???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SPRING CREEK FARM, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Songster

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Vanleer,TN
    Help!!! I took off 2 vacation days to clean my existing coops and runs;we are adding another coop with adjoining runs and I want everything like-new nice. It has been extremely wet =hot + humid here in middle Tennessee (the weatherman said yesterday's high was in the mid 90's and the humidity was 85%!!)
    So I am out working early at 6:30 this morning raking out and trying to clean the runs and I find that my husband had put thick layers of hay/straw in there and oh what a mess. The wetness combined with the underlying uneaten feed was just a feeding ground for flies and the stench is unreal. [​IMG] What in the world can I get TODAY to alleviate that terrible odor and make a nicer place for the chickens to scratch around in? Of course I managed to uncover loads of nice earthworms which they are happily scratching around and eating right now. I thought I would let it air out so to speak and maybe dry out for an hour or two. Then off to the farmers coop I will go if I only know what it is I am after! Any suggestions would be extremely appreciated!!!
    I do have a big load of sawdust to put in one section of their run for them to have a nice place on the outside to dust themselves. I also have several bales of pine shavings but at this point I don't know if the pine shavings will be better or not. I have read that agricultural lime would be good to sprinkle over the run and or coop to cut down on the odor and to aid in drying it out. I just don't know where to turn at this point but I know that I am going to have to go back outside in a minute and start back to work on it. [​IMG]
    Please help![​IMG]
     
  2. poultryhaven

    poultryhaven Addicted to Seramas!

    Jan 19, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    I need to know too
     
  3. marytoast

    marytoast Songster

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Carthage, NC
    [​IMG] I went out just this morning and put a thin layer of pine shavings down. I does not solve the problem. But it helps.
     
  4. BlackBart

    BlackBart Songster

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    Mar 29, 2009
    My Dad used to keep the chickens locked up, sprinkle ag lime and then dig and turn the whole run over, then let the chickens out.
    He would do this frequently throughout the year. It sure kept the smell and flies down.
    My chickens free range so I only do this near the front of the coop and heavy traffic areas.
     
  5. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Songster

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Vanleer,TN
    Poultryhaven, you got me all excited there, I thought I already had me an answer. Well, at least I know I'm not alone...but in this case, misery really does not love company, I would not wish this mess on anyone. It is a good thing that NOONE can see me right now as I am such a mess from trying to rake that stuff out of there. Oh, but no worries, they could not get close enough to really see me because the smell would scare them off!!!A skunk would smell better than I do right now...how bad is that???[​IMG]
    Well, my little chickens are certainly worth a little discomfort on my part.
     
  6. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Songster

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    My hen houses and fenced pecking run have little or no odor. I see an 'occasional' fly, but not a lot of them...and I'm sure I would notice as I spend about 3 hours every single afternoon just hanging around with my chickens, changing water, filling feeders, hand-feeding raw peanuts, etc.
    As soon as I had my hen houses erected, I thinly whitewashed the insides completely with hydrated lime/salt/water mix, let it dry, then put at least a cup of food grade DE on the floor of the hen house (the floor is just plywood (not wafer) and is whitewash coated also. I then put down the standard large pine shavings (about 2.5-3" deep). I put the DE on the roosting boards, also, and I put about 1/2 tsp. of food grade DE to 8 or 10 pounds of feed. I then sprinkled the entire pecking pen (which WAS grass, but is now loose dirt) with the DE. I think the DE is what is keeping the flies away, as it kills the flies and their eggs. I have applied the DE twice to the pecking pen in 3.5 months time, and I have changed the pine shavings out twice in the hen house. I sweep it clean and then re-apply another cup of DE. Ohhh...after it finally stopped raining here (rained for a month!), I took a stiff rake to the top layer of dirt in the pecking pen and removed the top half inch or so and added it to the compost pile, then added a couple of wheelbarrows of fresh dirt to the pen, then applied DE. I am sure the DE keeps the birds mite-free also, as I have never seen a mite on them and they preen a lot, but not much scratching at all. Hope this info helps.
     
  7. poultryhaven

    poultryhaven Addicted to Seramas!

    Jan 19, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    [​IMG] Haha i'm sorry i just wanted to keep track of this post. My parents said if i cant cut down on the smell and most of the flies all my chickens except for 2 or 3 have to go [​IMG] So i go out everyday and clean it and it still stinks =[. Its been around 100 degrees here during the day [​IMG]
     
  8. poultryhaven

    poultryhaven Addicted to Seramas!

    Jan 19, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Can someone please tell me what DE is lol i asked on another thread but noone answered
     
  9. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Songster

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Vanleer,TN
    Thanks for your input, marytoast , BlackBart & CallyB57. I will probably be co-op bound for some ag lime to put in the runs and I already have the pine shavings. I have heard a little bit about this food grade DE stuff but I am clueless where I could find some of it here. I am open to anything that will work that will not harm my chickens.
    I guess I'll go back outside to start again but I will check to see if we have anymore responses when I come back in to clean up before I go to the co-op.
    Have a Great day folks![​IMG]
     
  10. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    The only things I have found that will work are putting down a few inches of sand or dirt. Or, do the same thing with wood chips and bark. I wouldn't use wood shavings, they are too thin and insubstantial.
     

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