how to reduce smell and flies?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nutcase, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,440
    105
    198
    Dec 2, 2012
    Australia
    My Coop
    My chicken run often smells really bad especially after rain. How can I reduce (mask or preferably eliminate) the smell? Also, any ideas on how to repel flies?
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I know what you mean...the smell after a rain is quite pungent in the coop! I think mainly due to the high humidity - seems like the odors are trapped at ground level! Do you have good ventilation, especially cross ventilation? That seems to make a big difference, as well as good thick bedding on the floor? Chickens will scratch and turn their bedding so it doesn't mat up and start producing stinky methane.
    For flies I use fly traps - seem to work was well as anything. I read on BYC somewhere where a person turned a screen window inside the coop into a bug zapper - chickens couldn't access it but, being over a window, the flies would go to it, get zapped, fall to the floor, and become chicken snacks. So much ingenuity on BYC! Good luck to you!
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,989
    2,982
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I use pine shavings in the coop, but sand in the run. Also, I find that smells tend to occur more when food gets wet and decays, so I prefer pelleted dry feed since they don't dig through it as much. Recently I started fermenting feed and the manure doesn't smell much, you can save a lot of money on your feed volume, and it doesn't attract many flies. Try reading the "Fermented feed for meat birds (and egg layers) thread.
     
  4. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    906
    55
    153
    Jun 9, 2009
    Use a good drying litter and keep the place cleaner.
     
  5. NanaKat

    NanaKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Flies lay their eggs where there is wet poop and feed and larvae consume the debris. Check under your waterers. If you see larvae then that area is attracting flies. Also hanging cages need to be cleaned frequently because the feed and poop dropped on the trays attract flies also. The also adds to the smell.

    No coop is fly free....ever.
    I use those hanging sticky fly strips to catch flies.
    Agricultural lime is helpful sprinkled on the run and in your litter on the floor to "sweeten" the smell.
    Cleaning out under the roost area helps to reduce the smell as well. I wheelbarrow the roost poop out to a compost pile at the back of the garden and use it in the spring.

    But the best deterrent to flies is clean dry litter on the floor...I have two different floors...one is dirt and the other is concrete. I use wood shavings on the concrete because it is easy to sweep up. On the dirt floor, I deep litter using leaves, woodshavings and sometimes straw.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,538
    2,473
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I didn't know Narnia had flies. Can't recall ever hearing them mentioned. Oh well...

    If it smells, flies will appear. There's no easy fix. It requires effort. A sand run can be kept clean with a cat box scooper. But you need to go out there several times a day to scoop.

    The smaller, dried fecal matter will remain, however, and when it rains, it will be reconstituted with the resulting odor. The way to eliminate this problem is by constructing a roof over your run. A covered run also has the benefit of protecting your chickens from predators that fly, as well as those who will climb over the fence. Chickens in a covered run will be much calmer as a result.
     
  7. maryhysong

    maryhysong Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,875
    133
    188
    Aug 24, 2012
    Claypool, Arizona
    deep litter over a dirt floor. If there is smells then A) you have too many birds for the space they are in and/or B) you need to add more carbon, shavings, ground corncobs, sawdust, leaves, straw, ect. In deep litter these will begin to compost and will create a lot of beneficial organisms. The birds have a great time scratching through this stuff eating bugs and what not. (while chickens don't always eat flies, they always eat the maggots, which are good protein, so not always a bad thing). Because I have big heavy wet messy ducks in with my chickens, they tend to pack the litter down a lot to the point the chickens have a hard time scratching it up. so when it packs like that I take my digging fork out and just pry up the top layers, leaving it rough, then everybody goes crazy hunting for worms and bugs.
     
  8. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,440
    105
    198
    Dec 2, 2012
    Australia
    My Coop
    How is it that there are any bugs in your chickens' soil? Mine have eaten every living insect in their run!
     
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    2,047
    184
    271
    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    The OP is asking about the run not the coop. Sand in the run will help, but must be put down when it is drier. Turning the soil will help also.
     
  10. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    906
    55
    153
    Jun 9, 2009
    We use hay in the run. It can mat up if you let poop accumulate, so we scoop some poop out daily, rake the hay around daily, and spread fresh hay over it every few weeks. No flies, and barely any smell. If you have nothing but bare ground in the run and you never scoop poop or turn the soil, you will have stench and flies.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by