OMG. The smell.....


In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 27, 2013
Pacific Northwest
Right now the chickadees are in a large dog crate and they STINK! We had to move them to the garage because the smell was so atrocious. Now even with the garage door open the smell is still offensive just getting near it. I smelled it as soon as I got out of the car. The big garage door is wide open. I mixed in PDZ with their sand and I'm wondering if I didn't use enough or if there is something else I can do. I've been mixing in extra sand and stirring it and it doesn't seem to be helping.
Even their water holder stinks beyond hope. I clean it out everyday and smell inside the plastic water tank part and it without fail smells rancid every time. I can't seem to get the smell out after washing it.
If it's their diet,currently they are eating Mana Pro organic non GMO chick starter.
Anyone have further help? Family is giving me some serious stink eye....and I can't blame them. It's really really gross and sweet smelling.
What kind of chicks do you have? Different breeds need different requirements. I would suggest cleaning out their brooder at least once a day, also how many do you have in the dog crate, and how big is the dog crate? If they are packed in a small area, they will smell a lot worse. Try if you can, putting them in plastic bin for a little and COMPLETELY cleaning out their pen, food, water, everything. Use a 50/50 vinegar water solution and spray it everywhere, then let it air out a little bit. I'm not sure what your dog crate is, but if it isn't allowing things to vent properly that could also be a culprit.

What breed are your chicks?
How many?
In how large a container?
What is your bedding?
How often do you clean the cage?
Can you post pictures of the dog crate?
Sorry for the late response. Sudden visit to grandma's (no Internet) followed by a Crohns flare. Whoops.

I have EE, Wyandottes, Silkies, and barred rocks. They were actually separated out and now have about 3 ft of space per bird. The smell has improved quite a bit, but sometimes the smell is still there.
I figured out today that the well water at the chickens location smells of sulphur occasionally. :/ After the water was baking in the brooder, it was actually contributing to the smell by making it just stink of rotten eggs. I'm guessing this was quite a bit if the smell.
The water is coming from a private well? If so it sounds like it needs to be treated, we have to do ours every couple of years. Dump non scented bleach down the wellhead, put garden hose in it to mix water till you can smell the bleach in the water. Let it run that way for a bit, remove hose out of wellhead. Recover it. Go in house or wherever water comes out and turn water on to flush out pipes. After a day or two the water isn't smelly like sulfur or diesel smelling. The bleach goes through part of water table to clear out the algae or whatever is causing the stink. Water is safe to drink.

You should get that water tested too to find out exactly needs to be done, and what exactly is wrong with the water. Sometimes they can refer you to what business can assist you in upkeep of a private well. Or just look in phone book for labs and well drilling and that should help you out. Having a business come out to treat your well can get expensive. IF NOT a private well you better call the water district and tell them of the problem.

Here in the Pacific NW it has something to do with the volcanic rock in the water table, and a type of algae/ slime that is yellowish that causes the sulfur diesel smell to the water. The USGS comes to check our well every few years as we are part of a water study they are doing. He was the one that told me about the well treatment and I had to look it up. One of the joys of living in the country. :rolleyes:
Oh boy. Time to treat the well.*nods*
I would agree and I'll see if I can convince my in laws. Not to get into family drama, but they've had these 5 acres for just under a decade and have done jack with it. They spent more time fighting each other being on the verge of divorce (for about 25 years of their 30 year marriage) than taking care of stuff. My partner and are are stepping in to help out because they aren't doing what needs to be done, but they put up quite the fuss for any actual improvements. The well pump needs to be replaced too and has for a few years. There is an ant invasion in their house but they refuse to get an exterminator. :/

Joys of homesteading indeed. :rolleyes:
Now I need to go figure out what's eating my corn leaves. Lol

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