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Keeping smell down

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by meandthegirls, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. meandthegirls

    meandthegirls Out Of The Brooder

    I need some ideas on how to keep down the smell in my chicken run. I have 4 hens in a suburban neighborhood. There coop is 10 x4 and their run is about 40x10. Raking the run seems silly, since they "rake" as they scratch all day long. But, would it help to rake? Lay down hay? What works for you? I certainly want to keep my neighbors happy and I fear that as summer comes and the sun beats down on the area we will have a problem.
  2. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2013
    Colorado Springs, CO
    How close is your run to the neighbors' fence?
    I raise ducks, which are messier, in a much smaller run and never had a problem with smell. Not that the neighbors could detect anyway.
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I have 6 hens in a small, urban yard. I did a poop board under the roosts that I scrap every morning. I also do a layer of pine shavings in the bottom of the coop. I leave the run alone and they dig that all around on their own. I have never had a problem with smell. The poop board is really easy to clean and as long as I do it every day I think it helps the most.
  4. c2chicks

    c2chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    check out this thread all about Sweet PDZ. I have 3 hens (in the suburbs), pretty close to the neighbors and right next to my house. When it starts to warm up, I'll sprinkle a little around every few days (esp. when its wet for days at a time) and the smell just disappears. Magic...
  5. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, California
    Yes use Sweet PDZ! Also, keep the poo as dry as possible and you can use sand in the run to rake out the poo every once in a while.

    Come see us on California Northern thread. There are a lot of us near you!

  6. meandthegirls

    meandthegirls Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I have a question regarding "poop boards" and Sweet PDZ. Being truly "California Girls", my hens perch in the outside part of their coop all year long. And, since they get up before me, is it a problem if they are walking and pacing all over the poop board and Sweet PDZ as they wait for me to let them out into the run? I'm quessing that a "poop board" is literally just a board, set on the ground below the perch, that catches the poop and makes it easy to clean up. Is that correct? Do you have low sides on them to keep the Sweet PDZ somewhat on it?
  7. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, California
    It will all be ok! Sweet PDZ in non toxic and they can eat it and be fine.
  8. PetersChix

    PetersChix New Egg

    Jul 4, 2013
    I just fixed the smell in our coop and run. Up until this year we never had an issue, however the number of birds (13) and the endless spring and summer rain and the shade from vines on the run all combined to produce a constant and pervasive odor. The neighbor closet had guests today and asked if something could be done.

    We had shoveled some of the top layers, soil with a lot of oyster shells, and built up chicken waste and food. That still didn't do much as the ground is wet from rain and the anerobic bacteria really has taken hold.

    I thought about what to do, limited time (due at a 4th of July party). I laid down two gallons of simple green a non-toxic deodorizer. I did not want to use bleech both for concerns over the birds and not wanting to kill off biology digesting the waste. Next we dumped in a layer of charcoal (no added chemicals you could make it, but given the time we bought it on sale at wal-mart). The charcoal abosorbs odors, helps aerate the soil and does not add to the rotting material. We then added a layer of baking soda to further deodorize and to help neutralize the soil. Over everything we added a layer of pea gravel to keep everyone out of the mud. This took about an hour in including trip to Walmart and with one kid sort if helping. Cost $50 for a run about 25 x 8.

    Next we will add sand and more gravel. Problem solved. I am also making a chicken tractor to get them out for grass and bugs and reduce the build up in the run. We also cut back the overhead cover to get more sun in.
  9. AussieHens96

    AussieHens96 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2013
    We're in winter at the moment but our girls free range in a 10mx20m enclosed yard. To keep the roosting area clean I clean out the boxes and roosting tray at least once a week but apart from that, only the cecal poop stinks and thats generally around the yard and too small to be a bother.
  10. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, California

    Good job on getting the smell down!

    The sand seems to help a bunch. I did not think about using Simple Green.

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