Lime in the coops?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by E.M. Silkies, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Songster

    Aug 7, 2010
    We use lime in our horse stalls to help absorb urine and it's smell. I was wondering if anyone does that for their chicken coops? I was thinking I would start using it to keep the smell under control. Are there any health issues I should be aware of if a chicken ingests the lime?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

  2. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I don't think that would be good for them. Diatomaceous Earth is good for drying up moisture and killing odors, and if you get food grade it is very safe for the chickens. Just be careful not to inhale it.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'd say no. Definitely no to hydrated lime! That stuff is caustic. Stall Dry or Sweet PDZ would be better for absorbing ammonia odors and DE would keep things drier, but I wouldn't put even agricultural lime in the coops, personally.
  4. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Songster

    Aug 7, 2010
    Thank you! I thought it might be bad for them but I wanted to check. What else could I use to keep the smell down?

  5. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    You can use "Ag lime" or Barn lime. samething. I use it, it is cheaper then sweet pdz. also I notice the girls will peck at the Sweet pdz but the barn lime blends into the sand better. Plus it clumps around the poop. Easier clean up.
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    I use barn lime with my ducks in their run. I haven't used it on the chickens though, but the compost pile gets some and they peck through that everyday and seem fine. [​IMG]
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    To be honest, I rarely use anything in the coops other than a rare sprinkle of DE under the roost area in times of rainy weather and my coops just don't smell bad.

    What I do is remove the overnight poop under the roosts each morning so the worst of it is out of there, turn over the shavings to fluff it all, add some to "freshen" it occasionally, and if I start to smell anything too unpleasant, I remove the shavings and replace with fresh. I don't buy Stall Dry/Sweet PDZ at all, though I used to on occasion.

    Just remember that anything you put in there makes it dustier, along with the breaking down shavings and feather dander and feed dust; that includes DE, Stall Dry, lime or whatever.

  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Ag lime / barn lime is just crushed limestone. If they eat it they just get some extra calcium. Most calcium supplements in layer feed are pulverized limestone.

    Ag lime doesn't do a heck of a lot in a poultry barn. It is popular in horse and dairy barns to help neutralize acidic urine that, when mixed with manure, produces a lot of ammonia. If you can segregate the urine from the manure it keeps odors down. It also helps to create a non-slip surface instead of slip-sliding around on fouled barn floors.

    It doesn't have much use in a chicken coop. Since the urea is excreted as a white coating around the manure pellet it sets up the perfect conditions for odor and ammonia generation. Adding ag lime does little except to possibly help dry up very wet areas.

    Hydrated lime is what you want to use. Yes, it is caustic, but that what makes it useful. It is caustic enough to sanitize floors and walls and to kill the bacteria that produce the enzymes that break down the manure and cause odors.

    You don't want the chickens walking in it ankle deep though. To sanitize the floor you can broom it across the floor in a thin layer and cover it with bedding. To sanitize wooden roosts and other equipment dust it onto the equipment and into cracks and crevices as much as you can. To sanitize the walls it is best to mix it into a white wash and brush it on. Manure generally isn't a problem if it is kept dry. If you have damp areas that are generating odors you can stir the lime into the litter to sanitize it. It also has a slight heating effect that will dry out the area.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  9. redjess1984

    redjess1984 In the Brooder

    Aug 8, 2011
    I don't know what type of flooring you have in your coop but if it is dirt then just do a 12 inch layer of pine chips and as they naturally compost themselves add more to keep the layer at 12 in. We do this and only clean out old shavings quarterly and have virtually no smell at all. I have also recently started sprinkling a little de in coop. The thick floor cover also deters pests like lice and worms as their eggs are on the ground the chickens can't get them. We have never had lice mites or smell. Hope this was helpful!

  10. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    I've used it. When we get a lot of rain and the run gets sloppy muddy it stinks. Once it's try it will still smell kinda bad. I'll sprinkle lime and put hay on top and it makes things MUCH MUCH better!!

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