How to keep Pen area from stinking!!!


12 Years
Dec 21, 2007
Our chickens (I have 3) are in a large 8 x 6 dogrun and they have a coop in there to sleep and lay eggs. The coop is fine, its their little yard area that is starting to stink to high heaven!

I have a few questions for any pro's out there:

1. I am actually wondering if it would work to move their pen area and coop up onto our cement pad and then just let them out for a couple hours a day into a smaller enclosed dog run we have (5 x 5). We don't have a fenced in yard and I don't want them to get hurt by dogs in the neighborhood so I want to keep them in something.

I am thinking if they were on the cement pad then I can either hose off the cement occationally or sweep it maybe (their poop seems to dry into little balls) to keep it clean and stink free.

2. If I leave them on the often should I move the pen in my yard so they won't completely kill all the grass? That's whats happened now. The area is devoid of grass and stinks.

Thanks for any advice.

You would most likely want to move it once a week like any other chicken tractor. The current bald spot that smells you can put in some hydrated lime and turn it under. Let it sit fallow at least until a good rain before you let anything back on it. That will be one fertile spot of ground if you wanted to plant some tomatoes and lettuce and cucumbers LOL
Cement with nothing on it (no bedding or etc) is going to be awful harsh on their feet.

For what it's worth, I found that with 3 chickens in a 4x7 tractor I had to move it every day or two if I didn't want the grass to start getting thinned out, and if I waited a week between moves the grass wouldn't be permanently dead but it would look like muddy heck for a month or more.

Good luck,

There's a product that horse/cattle/poultry prople use called 'Stable Boy'. The only ingredient is something called 'karbonyte' which is a trade name for their form of hydrated lime. I've used it for years with horses, rabbits and cats. Works GREAT! and is inexpensive. Tack and feed stores carry it.

Scroll to my next post for a pic...
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Hydrated lime (gardening lime) does sweeten the soil. Depending on the concentration though it can burn the chickens feet as they are on it all the time and scratching around. That is why I recommend turning the soil under.
If you've got a permanent run, say 12x20, that's not something I'd want to move all the time - isn't there a way to manage the run without moving it all the time?
I've found wet rotting feed can add to the smell. In the past when I've spread too many pellets for the size of my flock and there was uneaten food left to get wet and dissolve the smell was horrible.
Having a covered pen and making sure any spread feed is eaten the same day will help a bunch.
Stable Boy is neutral pH, and can be mixed with DE and bedding, no burns...there are other products too. Do not use garden lime or masonary lime as they are *very* alkaline (danger!).

I've come back to show you a pic of the product.

You can click on this to enlarge.

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