I have tried pine shavings, I have tried straw/hay... I cannot keep the coop clean! It always has a God awful odor and the floor is always so nasty and caked! HELP! I want to keep my flock clean and well kept!!
I also suggest a poop board under the roost. On the poop board I use a mixture of sand and sweet PDZ and scoop it like cat liter once a day. The PDZ helps absorb the ammonia smell. It is used a lot in horse stalls. You can find it a tractor supply in the horse aisle. I mix it with sand to cut down on the amount of PDZ I use to save some money. And I usually replace the mixture once a week or so.
I will also mix food grade DE in with the pine shavings to help with the smell. You could also add the PDZ on to the floor of the coop. I've heard people use it in the run as wellto help dry up the poop and keep the smell down. Turning over the bedding in the coop daily with also help to decompose the poop. Make sure the bedding is dry and no moisture is building up.
Try to let the chickens out as early in the day as possible. The longer they are in their coop in the morning, the more poop that will accumulate. With this heat, when I'm home I keep the large doors of the coop open to help the air circulate better.
This does help so much! I keep the doors open from about 6:30 am until 9/10 pm so they are outside all day! (unless its raining and then they usually stay in the coop) I think the roof isn't very good so i think water just naturally gets in there and then makes the pine shavings just get really gross! It drives me nuts, because I feel so bad for them. I don't want to be a bad chicken mamma! haha
I'm using sand in both the coop and enclosed run. Zero smell and so easy to clean. My poop board in the coop is filled with 1/4" of PDZ. 5 minutes of sifting everything once a day and the place is clean!
I have 4 coops, this is a pic of the largest one (and my favorite because it is very easy to clean). I use PDZ on the roosting boxes (which I clean every day with a scoop) Currently there are 19 adult chickens living in this coop so there is a lot of poop produced overnight and this is why I clean it every day because I figure that it is better to spend a little time cleaning it every morning than a long time every week.
I also use koopclean on the floor (it is a mixture of chopped hay/straw/PDZ) which I replace 3 or 4 times a year.
Roosting boxes and PDZ are very good to keep your coop clean, if you are building a coop take them into consideration.
If you have smell, I would question your ventilation. In my new coop, I have much better ventilation, and I have yet to have an odor. A chicken house should never be closed up tight, and really the more ventilation the better.