Help. Why does my coop smell like fish?

Genesis giant

In the Brooder
Jul 18, 2021
4
12
21
We have had our three girls since April with absolutely no issues. Then bam all of a sudden we are smelling this horrible pungent fish smell. We use Construction grade sand in our run with DE and Lime and I’ve been scooping it often. It’s the dead of summer here and I’m in NC where the humidity carries this strong smell all over the yard. My girl most do their business in the covered run and it mostly where the smell seems to be coming from. I’ve noticed they have been having a liquid secretion because they are drinking a lot more because, again, it so dang hot. I’m at a loss I love clean and scrubbed but everytime they do their business it’s horrid. I do think maybe it could partially be their diet. Honestly I would love to hear what you guys think. They just were eating a chick starter. I just also switch out the food and drink dispenser to something that is easier to keep clean. I’m just at a loss and don’t want my neighbors to hate me and obviously want to be able to enjoy the yard? The chickens are acting and behaving totally normal, no weird behavior. I would appreciate any helpful advice.
 

Genesis giant

In the Brooder
Jul 18, 2021
4
12
21
What is their diet?
The feed store I was going to recommend the purina start and grow. We have used this since the beginning and haven’t run into a problem until now . They are edging on 18 weeks so I do think it’s time to transition them to something else. I’m wondering if they just aren’t getting enough of what they need from it and because of that maybe drinking more?
 

Genesis giant

In the Brooder
Jul 18, 2021
4
12
21
Yeah the run does get wet some times but the sand actually drys out quicker than anything else I’ve tried. I’m more convinced it has something to do with the girls than litter. I could be totally wrong though...we have had the sand in there a while with no smell. Just started within the last week. But it has been super hot and humid here and I’m wondering if no matter what bedding we would have a little funk going on. 😩 it’s weird because it did just rain and there seems to be a reprieve from the stench. I’m wondering if it actually washed some of the liquid they have pooping away. I can tell they have been having a lot of water because the have been times when they just poop a liquid, also seen them gulping down water.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
10,898
17,848
726
western South Dakota
Ugh on the snake. I have never heard of a snake smelling! Eastern Rat snakes sound intimidating.

Another area to check is the feed station. When I first started with chickens, I over fed. They would spill it out, work it into the dirt, and it would rot. That would stink.

I only put out feed once a day, and the amount, I think they will eat. This varies wildly. It is not the same every day. If there is a little feed left over, I feed a little less the next day. If the feed pan is empty, I feed a little more. I want my chickens hungry when I get there with the feed (but not starving) and they tend to eat it all up, even the spilled feed.

Spilled feed can smell over time, especially if you get rain.

Mrs K
 

3KillerBs

Addict
13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
19,288
55,171
1,266
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Eastern Rat snakes sound intimidating.

They're beautiful creatures, really -- though some can be very large, I've personally held one that was over 5 feet long, and that size can certainly be alarming.

They'll take eggs and chicks but not full-grown hens and, of course, they earn their name by devastating the rat and mouse population so as long as they're on the OUTSIDE of the coop and run they're great to have around.

Here in my part of NC the old-timers swear that if you've got rat snakes they'll keep the copperheads away.
 

Sueby

Free Ranging
Apr 23, 2019
2,943
24,482
736
CT
Here in my part of NC the old-timers swear that if you've got rat snakes they'll keep the copperheads away.
We have both here. & tons of timber rattlers. I have not see a rat snake on my property, but DH found a dead copperhead. I prefer to pretend we have NO snakes. :gig
 

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