Mold ---- Eeek! with pics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by erindubb, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    It is really humid and nasty here. My chicken coop has hardware cloth on the floor so that the poop just drops to the ground. But, so does the food since they are messy eaters - I went out this morning to say good morning and bring them some breakfast and I could smell the sickly sweet smell of farm before I even turned the corner. I only have four chickens and they are still babies (well teens) --- there is no way they should smell this bad already. So, I was kind of freaking out on my way because I know I will have to get rid of them if my neighbors (and husband) complain about the smell. Sooo, this is what I found....yuck. Mold is growing everywhere that they spilled food. Chicken food - not compost kind of leftovers - but their actual crumbles.
    So - how do I get them to stop spilling food
    and what do I do about the mold now.
    I went to two stores today and bought lime and DE - but I don't really know what to do with those things.
    HELP!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    You can kind of see it there in the second pic. I have ordered hardware cloth so that I can enclose that run I just built - you can see in the pic. I am also considering enclosing the under part of the coop so that they can run around under there too. Any suggestions?

    I just made that green PVC food thing yesterday to keep them from spilling food all over - thought it would work better than the store bought one.....but I think they are being even MORE messy now. AHHHH. How do i get them to spill less food?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  2. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    This is another reason I'm not too keen on the wire floors. I notice you have a run. Why not put the food in the run where they can pick crumbles from the ground up? Also, you need to hang the feeder or raise it up to their shoulder/neck level. That will prevent alot of spillage too.

    I have mine in the run all summer hanging on a chain quite high and have minimal waste that way. Good luck!

    ETA: I would also add a roof to your run - it will cut down on smells if it doesn't get wet in there also.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    You're going to have rats if that keeps up. (Indeed it is not impossible for this sort of problem to be partly *caused* by rats or mice, going in there at night and digging out food from the feeder)

    First, I'd reconsider the wire floor.

    Second, you need to adjust your feeder and/or possibly get a new one that works better. It needs to be raised to the level of the hens' backs, so they can *just* reach into it while standing upright; set it on a block, not hanging; ideally it should be a feeder with a rolled lip and baffles to prevent billing-out; and adjust it so that as little as possible feed goes from the 'reservoir' into the trough part.

    If all else fails, you could just give them a measured amount twice a day, according to their needs, so they eat it all right then and there.

    But IMO it is nicer for them to have food available most of the time, which means making/buying/acquiring/modifying a feeder that works better.

    If you want to try to modify your existing one, raise it up on a second layer of bricks, add some sort of dividers/baffles in it so they can't fling food sideways with their beaks, and try to modify it so that not very much food enters the 'trough' at any one time.

    If you are set on the wire floor -- which I don't think is a great idea, but, <shrug> -- at least wire off that underneath area and put a 'catch tray' under there, so it is easy to dispose of spillage every morning and so (THE BIG ISSUE!) rats etc can't start getting into the poo and spilled food. You will really really really regret it if they discover this...

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  4. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    OH MY GOSHHHHHH! RAAATS!! I have never even considered this. I am so disgusted. I will be figuring this out right away. I CAN NOT have rats. So, if I enclose the bottom area - rats won't be a problem?
     
  5. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    If I make the wire mesh floor into a real floor.....how do I do that? And won't that be even more messy? What if I put a floor just under where the feeder is? I thought about raising the feeder - but I have two banty chicks the same age as the two standards - and they bantams - can just reach it as it is. AHHHH. This is way harder than I thought it would be. (don't tell my husband) [​IMG]
     
  6. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    see if you cant find a tray/pan, and make a catch tray under the wire floor for the whole thing, and line it with paper towels or news paper, it will cut back on your smell and mold because all the feed and poo will go into the catch tray and once a night you can pull out the tray, dump it in the garbage or where ever, rinse it and re - line it and replace it. This way you won't have poo and food building up underneath which will be A. smelly, B. health hazardous to anyone around because of mold and bacteria, C. will cut back on flies and less likely rats/mice will get interested and D. easy to clean.

    As it is you will have to add lime to the ground under the coop and SHOVEL a few inches of dirt up and then add sand to it, and occassionally scoop up poop to get rid of the stinky smell. I'm not a fan of a simple wire floor, but a wire floor w/ catch tray I don't mind at all.

    Look up ideas for catch trays, building a lip under the floor and adding even a stiff piece of tin or something, with the edges folded up a bit to use as the catch tray. Lots of possibilities.

    Good luck!

    Enclosing the bottom of the floor you can add hay or pine shavings or sand and use a hand trowel or rake to pull out dirty bedding every so often, and add a tin fresh layer on top after you get anything thats wet out.
     
  7. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    So - if I make a tray to slide under the mesh floor - how often do you empty it? I NEED low maintenance. Would it be filled with shavings of some kind?
     
  8. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    Add a drop down pan and fill it with shavings and I would add DE to it, search DE if you don't know what it is, it's for bugs.
     
  9. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    should I add a pan under the whole entire mesh floor.
    or add a pan just under the feeder to catch extras - above the mesh
    or both of those things. [​IMG]
     
  10. txliss

    txliss Out Of The Brooder

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    eeeewwww! My hubby's allergies and mil's asthma couldn't handle being anywhere NEAR that mold!

    My coop has a floor of leftover rolled linoleum. If you extend it a couple inches up the sides, you can simply hose the whole thing out. I fill our coop with whatever bedding happens to be cheaper based on availability/season (hay, shavings, leaves, etc.). When I can smell it, I (actually my 11 yr dd) scoops out the soil and buries it in the compost pile, then we add new. This process happens about every 6 weeks or so. I take the front of my coop off in summer to keep it cooler and that keeps it aired out nicely - it is 3x6' with an attached 8x10' run. - VERY low maintainance. Between dd and myself, we've only put in about 3 hours total of "coop" work since April. [​IMG]

    I wouldn't have your birdies running under the coop until all that nasty is remediated - and certainly not if you have only wire mesh above. They'd be walking in the "port a potty" so to speak.[​IMG]
     

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