Nervous about the smell coop again this summer.

Jamesthesilkie

Chirping
Jan 5, 2020
87
84
69
North Carolina
Soooo I've spent a while searching around, looking at threads about this, but I want my own one, and more specific help.

Last summer, my coop ALWAYS stunk, I cleaned the roosting boards daily, had deep litter, but coming within 15 feet of the coop, you would be hit in the face with chicken stank and flies.

My coop is 8x8 and currently has 15 chickens, will be 20 soon but that's about my max for this coop. I had about 6 inches of pine shavings, straw, leaves, pine needles, and anything else I could find in there.

I did not use pdz in there, but I have a bag and will start using it soon, I'm hoping this will help as well. I am located at the very top of North Carolina, so summers are hot but not awful compared to other areas.

The coop stays very dry as well.

Based on the info I've given, does anyone have some extra tips for me coming into this new year to keep my coop not as smelly?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
25,972
200,293
1,612
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
Soooo I've spent a while searching around, looking at threads about this, but I want my own one, and more specific help.

Last summer, my coop ALWAYS stunk, I cleaned the roosting boards daily, had deep litter, but coming within 15 feet of the coop, you would be hit in the face with chicken stank and flies.

My coop is 8x8 and currently has 15 chickens, will be 20 soon but that's about my max for this coop. I had about 6 inches of pine shavings, straw, leaves, pine needles, and anything else I could find in there.

I did not use pdz in there, but I have a bag and will start using it soon, I'm hoping this will help as well. I am located at the very top of North Carolina, so summers are hot but not awful compared to other areas.

The coop stays very dry as well.

Based on the info I've given, does anyone have some extra tips for me coming into this new year to keep my coop not as smelly?
Adding more chickens is not the answer.
The DLM requires active composting to keep odors away. It doesn't sound like it's composting.
Have you considered abandoning DLM in favor of poop boards with PDZ?
 

Jamesthesilkie

Chirping
Jan 5, 2020
87
84
69
North Carolina
Adding more chickens is not the answer.
The DLM requires active composting to keep odors away. It doesn't sound like it's composting.
Have you considered abandoning DLM in favor of poop boards with PDZ?
It won't compost for me. It's just dusty and still can see all the bedding chunks 😭😭😭 maybe I need more poop mixed up in there. I usually clean almost all of it out.
 

3KillerBs

Free Ranging
Jul 10, 2009
3,695
7,033
516
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
Can you get photos of your coop so that we can see your layout and, most importantly, your ventilation?

15 birds is already right up next to the maximum for an 8'x8' coop -- because if that is the exterior measurement you don't actually have the 64 square feet you'd need for 16 birds inside. Also, if the feeder, waterer, and nest boxes take up interior space then you need to subtract the area they take up from your total figure when calculating how many chickens you can have.

If your bedding is dry rather than moist and doesn't have direct ground contact to seed the bedding with the composting organisms then you don't have deep litter, which is a composting system, but deep bedding, which needs to be cleaned out periodically. Just how periodically depends on weather, chicken load, type of bedding, etc. but my sign that it needs to be done is that it develops a noticeable odor -- anywhere from 6-12 weeks for my Little Monitor Coop.

Having a constant odor problem in a dry coop suggests to me that you've got a serious ventilation problem. You need 1 square foot of ventilation per bird.

That's 24/7/365 ventilation. Anything you close at night or in the winter is just supplemental ventilation and doesn't count.

Additionally, where that ventilation is placed matters. Heat and ammonia both rise so the ventilation needs to be placed high up near the roof.

Show us what your setup looks like and we'll have a better idea how to make it work better for you. :)
 

Jamesthesilkie

Chirping
Jan 5, 2020
87
84
69
North Carolina
Can you get photos of your coop so that we can see your layout and, most importantly, your ventilation?

15 birds is already right up next to the maximum for an 8'x8' coop -- because if that is the exterior measurement you don't actually have the 64 square feet you'd need for 16 birds inside. Also, if the feeder, waterer, and nest boxes take up interior space then you need to subtract the area they take up from your total figure when calculating how many chickens you can have.

If your bedding is dry rather than moist and doesn't have direct ground contact to seed the bedding with the composting organisms then you don't have deep litter, which is a composting system, but deep bedding, which needs to be cleaned out periodically. Just how periodically depends on weather, chicken load, type of bedding, etc. but my sign that it needs to be done is that it develops a noticeable odor -- anywhere from 6-12 weeks for my Little Monitor Coop.

Having a constant odor problem in a dry coop suggests to me that you've got a serious ventilation problem. You need 1 square foot of ventilation per bird.

That's 24/7/365 ventilation. Anything you close at night or in the winter is just supplemental ventilation and doesn't count.

Additionally, where that ventilation is placed matters. Heat and ammonia both rise so the ventilation needs to be placed high up near the roof.

Show us what your setup looks like and we'll have a better idea how to make it work better for you. :)
Wow you have helped a lot. I probably need to add more ventilation. I don't have pics but if I can remember I'll take some tomorrow.

And yes it's in a raised wooden floor coop. Also, the entire coop is actually 10 by 8, and the nesting boxes stick out as well as another area. So they get the entire 8 by 8, and nothing is in there except roosts.
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
503
778
161
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
Wow you have helped a lot. I probably need to add more ventilation. I don't have pics but if I can remember I'll take some tomorrow.

And yes it's in a raised wooden floor coop. Also, the entire coop is actually 10 by 8, and the nesting boxes stick out as well as another area. So they get the entire 8 by 8, and nothing is in there except roosts.

I didn't think you can do deep litter on a wood floor. Thought it should be on the ground, so it can compost.
 

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