keeping the coop clean

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by genabeana, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. genabeana

    genabeana In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2009
    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!

  2. Barry

    Barry Songster

    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.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  3. birdbrain2

    birdbrain2 Songster

    Dec 25, 2008
    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.
  4. Pine shavings or play sand.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    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,

  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    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.
  7. Brickman House

    Brickman House Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    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.
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    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. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  9. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    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.
  10. kschix

    kschix In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2009
    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!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: