How to keep Pen area from stinking!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aprilschickens, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. aprilschickens

    aprilschickens Hatching

    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.

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    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
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    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,

  4. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    You think about feeding them DE and sprinkling it to keep the smell down?

    The grass I think you will have to let die in one area.

    Good luck
  5. 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...
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    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.
  7. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground

    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?
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Quote:Make sure to use Food Grade DE only, if you decide to try this route. We use it have have no chicken smell in either our coops or runs.

    Hope this helps!

  9. farmerchuck

    farmerchuck In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2008
    Epping, NH
    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.
  10. 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.

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008

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