My chickens Smell!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mwatro34, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. mwatro34

    mwatro34 New Egg

    Sep 24, 2008
    I have four 11 week old gals. We are in the City on an average plot with lots of neighbors. The coop and run are near the house and we can smell the musty odor. It gets bad on hot (>75 degrees) days. However, when I sniff around the coop I dont smell that really yucky feces smell. I am going to get some food grade DE, but will that solve this issue? Are we stuck with this smell? Hints on cleaning the ground of the run? Seems kinda hard. thanks, Matt
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There are several things that help with the odor. But if this is an uncovered run, they would all have to be discarded after a rain. If uncovered, I'd probably go with sand. It does not cover the odor but makes for much easier cleaning. You can buy play sand, or you can go to the river and collect it. If you collect sand from a salt water beach, you will need to figure out a way to wash the salt off.

    I don't have this problem -- out in the country, free range or a huge yard -- hopefully a few others will weigh in here with some other ideas.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The drier you keep the run etc, the less smell there will be. So, preventing runoff into the run, keeping rain out as much as possible, replace footing with something that dries well and doesn't hold moisture (sand, gravel, etc) will help. See my 'fix muddy run' page (link below in .sig) for more ideas on keeping the run as dry as possible.

    There is probably always going to be a slight 'animals live here' scent in the coop, but IMO there needn't be outdoors (well unless maybe you have a super-powerful nose, or on a very humid still day)

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    DE won't have any effect at all on smell. I'd try getting "stall dry" or some other product that's made to help keep animal cages dry. Also, you need to have good ventilation and have the bedding as dry as possible.

    I don't have any experience keeping a run clean, as mine are pastured or in a chicken tractor which I move every day until they are introduced to the big girls in the pasture, but I would also wonder how to keep a run clean. The sand idea sounds like a good one. You wouldn't need or want play sand--WAY too expensive. Beach sand could harbor organisms you didn't want. Instead, go to a home improvement store and look for "tube sand" used in masonry. Won't be pretty and pristine and white, but the birds won't care. Even cheaper would be a load of sand from a gravel pit or building supply store, if you have access to a pick up truck.

    What about planting some good stinky flowers?
  5. mwatro34

    mwatro34 New Egg

    Sep 24, 2008
    I will try Stall Dry in addition to DE. There are three components to my chicken space: a house, a coop, and a run. The house doesn't smell, though it has a concentration of feces and pine shavings. the coop probably smells some with a combination of wood chips, grass clippings and dirt making up the ground. The run is mostly grass, and a little dirt. When it is hot (read dry) it smells worse. The smell was a lot better with cooler temperatures and more rain???

    Don't the chicks want to dust themselves...sand seems to limit that.
  6. 1chick1

    1chick1 New Egg

    May 20, 2008
    Stall Dry is DE you dont need both.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  7. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    My run is bare dirt. I have hosed down my run on hot days, when it smells. I also rake it out.
  8. annanicole18

    annanicole18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    i have heard people suggest that tilling it up helps since the dirt is then loose and the chickens scratch and mix the poo in covering it up and probably alot of the smell
  9. I'M On Island Time

    I'M On Island Time Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 23, 2008
    Chain O'Lakes IL
    Stall dry is DE?

    I thought stall dry was ag lime.

    I have used ag lime when their coop flooded and then smelled awful. The ag lime is pretty inexpensive and cut the odor immediately. I put the shavings over it and kept the coop clean as normal.

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