keeping the coop clean

genabeana

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 19, 2009
80
0
39
Hendersonville, TN
Hi! I've seen references to garden deodorizers, cat litter, cedar chips, ect. What are the best materials to bed the coop with and keep it as fresh and clean as possible. Thanks for all your input!

Gena
 

Barry

Songster
11 Years
Nov 29, 2008
255
2
129
Welland, Ontario,Canada
I think the trick to odor control is what you take out and how often, not so much what you put in.
In other words, a little poop smells a bit, a lot of poop smells a lot.
The suggestion of kitty litter may help as it removes moisture. I haven't tried it but I have noticed dry poop has less aroma than wet poop.
 
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birdbrain2

Songster
11 Years
Dec 25, 2008
206
0
119
belleville, IL.
i wouldn't use cedar chips (toxic to chickens). kitty litter would not be good because they might eat it. unless you find some organic all natural litter. most people use pine shavings and some use DE with the shavings.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
259
341
Ontario, Canada
A well ventilated coop will stay dry (well ok unless you live in Seattle, in which case, not always <g>) and unsmelly. So I'd say that is the primary solution.

I like wood shavings the best, the kind you buy in big compressed $4-5 bales at the feed store. Other options exist too, of course.

I am a big fan of having a droppings board (just a plain board, you can vinyl-cover the top if you want) that you scrape off every morning and remove the poo from the coop. That will remove at least half of the day's poo supply *right there*, in about ten seconds. Just use a dustpan or wide scraper, and snowplow along the board with a bucket moving along with it to catch the poo.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
67
283
Wisconsin
Simple pine shavings work really well. Don't over-crowd your chickens.

When needed, add more clean shavings on top or clean it out, depending on whether you want to do the deep litter method. Either way works.

A smelly coop might have a ventilation problem or a water leak. Most of the time, there is just too much chicken poop for the amount of shavings. Like a compost pile that has too many wet, high nitrogen green components and not enough dry, brown, high carbon components.
 

Brickman House

Songster
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
352
7
131
Like Patandchickens, the primary way we keep smell down in our coop is to keep it well ventilated and dry.

We bed with about 4 inches of pine shavings, and use a manure fork to pick the worst of it out from under the roosts and toss the rest once a week or so.

We probably do a full coop clean out (remove all the shavings to the compost pile, and completely re-bed) about every three months or so.
 

Jenski

Songster
11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
2,177
18
181
Middle Tennessee
I use pine shavings in two coops and Aspen in the banty coop. I pop in every morning and evening with a cat litter scoop, whisk broom and bucket to police things up. Takes two minutes, lets me monitor my girls' health, keeps down the smell to near nothing, makes the shavings last longer, keeps coccidiosis at a minimum, keeps me humble and out of trouble (mostly). Time well spent.
 
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scooter147

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
2,042
72
221
Missouri
Dropping board under the roosts and clean once a week. This is the method I use. I have 30 chickens in a 8x12 coop. I have no smell.
I use pine shavings as bedding.
 

kschix

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 16, 2009
17
0
22
DeSoto, Kansas
We use wood shavings too- from a feed store. We have about four inches deep of them. It does get smelly but once you rake the droppings to the bottom then it smells nice again.

My brother has a chicken wire floor in his coop (he doesn't need to walk in it because he can get to everything from the outside). Then the droppings fall to the ground and his coop is high enough that he can reach underneath and shovel out the pooh when it gets thick. He loves this design, however, it does get to be problematic when it's really cold outside- because it's hard to insulate. We have pretty cold winters in Kansas though and his chickens come out of it just fine!
 

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