Help for smell?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CheshieChick13, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. I'm pretty new to chickens. We built a run and put sand in the bottom. It has been terribly hot, muggy and rainy here in KY for the past few weeks [​IMG] The smell of the run is getting a bit strong. We clean the run and coops 2-3 times a week. Is there anything I can mix in the sand to help with the smell? It's not so much an ammonia smell, it's just the having chickens smell, LOL. I wouldn't worry about it so much if I didn't have neighbors in close proximity.

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Do you mix DE (food grade) into the sand?? It's a drying agent (fossilized material actually), and also a good mite preventative. You might give it a shot. [​IMG]
  3. Please tell how the sand is supposed to work? I always wondered about it, because if you look at the soles of chicken feet, they DO look sensitive, like monkey paws or even like OUR feet, and I wondered if sand wouldn't be a lot more gentle? It also looks nice.

    But my chickens freerange among our discarded hotwheels, crayons& children's junkbits in a tree-chip backyard which is definitely not gentle, and they dig to china on most days like there's no tomorrow. Some of their digging goes about a foot deep. So for all their delicate looks, those feet are seriously hard working diggers.

    What we use is pine shavings, but the outdoor chips in the run have composted into dirt which I occasionally turn over with a shovel, but there's chocolate mint and spearmint and a little bit of grass growing out there, too, so our run just sort of smells minty. I had a master gardner friend over to visit yesterday, it was muggy, and she swore there was no bad smell. I compost every poop I see. I am only home 3 days a week, I have 3 gradeschool kids so I only spend maybe a total of 4 hours a week searching for chicken poop for my compost heap, its become a hobby like my knitting..........

    So I guess I'm lucky I only have 4 chickens, their poop in the pine chips (and covered in my compost heap which looks like mud) doesn't have a bad smell. I'd still love to know more about using sand.
  4. I live in central NC just outside of Statesville and it's been hot and muggy here too. In my run I layed down about 2 inches of Crush 'n Run which is small gravel and course sand. It's what people here use on dirt lanes and driveways. On top of that I added 3 inches of creek sand, also a course sand. My run is an old carport that I converted to a run by fencing it in and adding a gate and the coop. I don't have problems with smell but I do use a sharp pointed V-shape garden hoe on the sand about 3 times a week to 'plow' in the poop so it'll rot. It keeps down the flies too. I took out the top inch or so in April and put it on my garden and replaced it with fresh creek sand immediately. My garden went ballistic, by the way! But we don't have a problem with smell or flies doing this. Oh, and we now have 30 Gold Comets so that's a lot of poopers...
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  5. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I use sand in my run... they turn it over daily and mix it with the dirt underneath... and I'm okay with that. It keeps the run clean and I haven't had to clean it yet. They keep turning it over and the poop goes away. I sprinkle DE in the run from time to time... and all is good. Doesn't get muddy as the sand helps big time with the drainage. In the coop itself, I use the baby pine chips. I sprinkle the coop and nest box with DE as well.

    We have been very hot and muggy... and so far, no smell. The small coop stays surprisingly clean as they prefer to poo outside in the run.

    I don't think I would want sand in the coop, but I love it in the run.

  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    6chickens in St. Charles :

    Please tell how the sand is supposed to work? I'd still love to know more about using sand.

    JimW explained the ideal way (IMO) to do sand. It really drains well, doesn't mold/mildew, and is easy to clean, since the poo kind of clumps in the sand.​
  7. Wow this is good information! I like the idea of them being able to dig dig dig when they're trapped in their run.
  8. I love the sand. It's very easy to keep clean, just a rake. The best part is no mud caked chickens, and they LOVE to dust bathe in it. Because of the wonderful drainage, I would actually think it would be better on feet since they keep drier. Bacteria and mold love moisture and the sand keeps it at bay. We have about 3-4 inches of all purpose sand in the bottom of the run.
    I will try the food grade DE for the smell.

  9. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Songster

    May 28, 2010
    Where would one look for DE, other than the internet? I'd like to get some for my brooder, but I don't have the slightest idea where to look for it [​IMG] .
  10. Frogdogtimestwo

    Frogdogtimestwo Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Ask your feed stores, I pay 24.50 for a 50 pound bag for food grade DE. Most of the time they have to call their supplier after you explain to them what it is. I believe I use codex brand, you could look it up online and have the info printed for them.

    *eta I just looked it up online and its permaguard brand codex food grade Diatomaceous Earth.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010

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