I've got problems!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fratmor, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. fratmor

    fratmor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2010
    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![​IMG]
     
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 22, 2007
    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
     
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 22, 2007
    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
     
  4. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    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 [​IMG]
     
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.
     
  6. Roo on Harley

    Roo on Harley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2011
    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.
     
  7. fratmor

    fratmor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2010
    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.
     
  8. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    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.
     
  9. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    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
     
  10. fratmor

    fratmor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2010
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    Quote:I've never seen them try to mate with each other. But they do always swat for me!
     

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