Managing the smell of ammonia

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by martin.d, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. martin.d

    martin.d Out Of The Brooder

    Hi, Newbie here...

    Having built my coop we're trying out the deep litter method, we have put down 6" of dust extracted wood shavings and turn it once / twice a week.

    I've since noticed a build up of ammonia. Prior to the chickens moving in i lightly dusted the perches etc with DE. I now plan to use Stalosan F in an attempt to decrease the ammonia. Does this sound about right? We're in the U.K. so temperatures are dropping and its pretty damp out there (coop watertight and vented).

    Cheers,
    Martin.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, [​IMG]

    Next, you say your coop is vented, but sometimes coops needs a bit more ventilation than we think at first, depending on the amount of birds.

    How many birds do you have in how large a space?
     
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    martin.d :

    Hi, Newbie here...

    Having built my coop we're trying out the deep litter method, we have put down 6" of dust extracted wood shavings and turn it once / twice a week.

    I've since noticed a build up of ammonia. Prior to the chickens moving in i lightly dusted the perches etc with DE. I now plan to use Stalosan F in an attempt to decrease the ammonia. Does this sound about right? We're in the U.K. so temperatures are dropping and its pretty damp out there (coop watertight and vented).

    Cheers,
    Martin.

    Can the DE and use lime to kill the amonia smell.......Pop​
     
  4. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, it sounds to me like your coup is damp. Rethink your venting as suggested, maybe you don't have enough vents. Also, have you re-applied DE? I turn my litter about once or twice a week. I re-apply DE (just dust the top ot the litter) probably every 2-3 weeks.
     
  5. Memphisjourney2seramas

    Memphisjourney2seramas Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    would the lime burn theit feet? I have never used it.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    There are a few different things that could be causing the problem. You've been stirring, so it isn't because you need to stir.

    Usually in an established deep litter coop that's been going awhile, ammonia means you need to add more fresh dry litter. From time to time you need to add a layer on top, that will eventually get stirred in. How often you need to do this will depend on how densely you stocked your coop.

    Sometimes different sources of excess moisture can cause an increase of ammonia. It can be because the chickens have just pooped a lot and it's time to add more dry fresh litter on top. It can be because there's a water leak somewhere. It can be because you didn't add ventilation or enough ventilation to the coop, to let humidity escape.

    There are some things that can help in figuring out the problem. How long have the chickens been in the coop? What is your stocking level? In the US we usually go by how many square feet you have in the coop, per chicken. How much ventilation do you have open in your coop?

    Is any water leaking in your coop? Either from the roof, windows, a doorway, an open vent, or a leaking water font? How is your litter looking? Like a lot of clean shavings and only a little poop? Or darker and like there's a lot of broken down poop and shavings. Is your litter mostly dry, slightly moist or wet when you pick up a handful?
     
  7. martin.d

    martin.d Out Of The Brooder

    Cheers for the replies,

    The coop is approx 1.7m x 1.3m x 1.1m it houses 3 hens currently (planning to add more later) and has seven 50mm holes at the top of one panel, plus some draughts! it has an exit door and another double door open during daylight hours. The hens have been in the coop for approx 2-3 weeks. The shavings look clean with a little poo dispersed throughout (i placed a 6" deep layer in prior to them moving in). When the hens poo it can be pretty wet / fluid based.

    M
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. martin.d

    martin.d Out Of The Brooder

    Yay Chicks - thanks for that link.

    one square foot of ventilation per chicken

    wow - thats way more than i'd bargained for, i may need to get the jigsaw out again!!!!!!


    I'm new here, so i'm not sure if this link will work yet, but it shows my build including vent holes
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=112047
     
  10. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a small coop and don't have that much ventilation, however, I scoop the droppings from a poop board placed under the roost daily, as well as any big clumps that have fallen.

    I noticed you have plastic under the shavings. I wonder if that could be adding to the build up of moisture? I just have my shavings directly on a plywood floor. I turn and add shavings and DE as needed.

    Edited to say: Those little vent holes don't look like they would offer enough...
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011

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