I've got problems!

fratmor

Songster
9 Years
Sep 10, 2010
255
2
111
ny,ny
Chickens with red backs ,butts,and losing feathers. no sign of mites,I've checked at night, in the morning, during the day. They are all clean of bugs.
I got rid of 1/3 of my girls(2 weeks ago) thinking it could be over crowding ,they still look the same.
The next problem is the run smells like a swamp full of poo. Its a dirt run with hay that I lay over it .they do bu:hery the hay I'm wondering if that cause it to decompose and is whats causing the smell. How do you keep you pens from smelling now that it is summer (my coop is fine I change the wood shaving ever couple of weeks as needed). This is my first summer with chickens.HELP!
 

Matt A NC

Crowing
13 Years
Feb 22, 2007
3,091
83
269
Morganton, NC
I would never use hay in the run or as bedding in the house. Hay get packed down with poop and rots. You can also get mold growing that can be very harmful to the birds. The ammonia smell can also damage their sinuses and lead to respiratory infections.

I would clean everything.

Matt
 

Matt A NC

Crowing
13 Years
Feb 22, 2007
3,091
83
269
Morganton, NC
oh and the feather loss could be from a hen picking or even one mating the others. A hen can take on the role of a Rooster if one is not there.

Matt
 

Attack Chicken

[IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu
11 Years
Sep 25, 2008
8,751
18
271
Indianapolis, IN
I would dig out the run if possible and then put down sand. Easy to clean and doesn't stink.

Matt already got what I was going to say
 

bryan99705

Songster
8 Years
May 16, 2011
1,470
12
131
North Pole, Alaska 99705
Can you build a 2nd run to allow the 1st to dry or at least pull up the hay and maybe lay down pea gravel to help dry it out the run and lift the birds above the moisture. Whether this fixes the feather issue or not, it your birds need to dry out and have some room that is not a swamp. Is your run in a low spot of the yard? Either build up the ground or move the run to avoid a constant wet area. I've heard great things about an inexpensive horse product called stall dry but don't know if it works outside or if it would simply be overloaded. A cover over the run to block some of the rain will help too.
 

Roo on Harley

Chirping
8 Years
May 25, 2011
161
1
89
Texas
Soiled hay will smell, may have gotten wet which will add smell...my suggestion is to clean. Have you recently added chickens? Sounds like pecking order issue on the feathers, how old?
Let us know your results.
 

fratmor

Songster
9 Years
Sep 10, 2010
255
2
111
ny,ny
thanks for the answers,I'm sorry I meant to say straw if that makes a difference .also they are almost a year old except for 3 of them are 6 months.
my ground is not wet it just smells like a swamp.how thick of a sand layer would I need to add? thanks again for all your replies.
 

Attack Chicken

[IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu
11 Years
Sep 25, 2008
8,751
18
271
Indianapolis, IN
I just put some boards around the inside of my run and filled with sand about a good 3-4 inches but my run is only 6ftx8ft. So easy just to rake out and doesn't get all mucky when wet.
 

bryan99705

Songster
8 Years
May 16, 2011
1,470
12
131
North Pole, Alaska 99705
A frame to contain the coarse sand really works, plus you can spray it down to flush what doesn't rake up. I used a pickup load of pea gravel to fill one 6x8 section of a coop 4" deep and had enough left over to fill a small low spot in the drive
 

fratmor

Songster
9 Years
Sep 10, 2010
255
2
111
ny,ny
Quote:I've never seen them try to mate with each other. But they do always swat for me!
 

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