OMG their run all of a sudden smells horrible!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by animals1981, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. animals1981

    animals1981 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    I have a run and coop for my ducks/chickens now even in the winter my ducks spend all their time out i the run no matter how bad the weather is!

    So I put up some tarps and boards around their run to protect them from the wind since they insist on staying out there and not indoors where it is warm

    I live inn Kingston ontario gets very cold here -20

    THe ground was very frozen until today!

    I went out to feed them and OMG It smelled horrible!!!!!! like an animal died in there or something!

    DId the warm weather create the smell? I dont know what the smell is the ground in the run is very wet now and i put wood chips there in the winter and keep piling it over their poop because the crap is to hard to cl3ean so the wood chips just piles over the crap.

    Well i spent an hour today digging in their run like a gopher filling up pine shavings and dirt with buckets then dumping the buckets in a pile in the woods around my yard.

    Anyone know what this smell is and how i can fix it?> THe ground of their run is just earth I thought this was good because chickens and ducks like to eat bugs and worms and mice that come up out of the earth

    should i put some mite dust on the floor? I have duck their coop so deep it looks like a dog has been in there digging what do i fill the holes with should i go out and buy some soil to make the coops floor raise a bit?

    Thanks so much
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    It's the combination of the moisture and poo. It does smell terrible, doesn't it?!?!

    I just sprinkle a bunch of agricultural lime all over my run since it's been raining like crazy here and that has helped a bunch. It will also help to kill the bacteria that is surfacing. Try that and see if it helps at all.

    You also might want to get some sand to fill the holes in with.
  3. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I've been experiencing the same smell and I am sorry to hear about you to lol
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I have no idea what could be doing that, except one possibility...there's mulch that our school district gets from somewhere around here, and when we mulch the school's flower beds, it's usually in the summer and over 80F, and it's more like wood chipping from downed trees than the mulch you'd get at the store. Well, Spring and Fall, when it rains, these areas smell like nothing I have eve smelled outside of a cattle truck! It's got to be some sort of fungal or bacterial growth, and I'd lean bacterial.

    It certainly doesn't help you to determine if it's dangerous or not, but perhaps it will help you to explain why it would only stink as it thaws, especially since that's a moist mess you're in. The stuff at the school only smells awful on days when it's good and soaked through (which only happens a few times a year around here).

    It it was my issue, I'd use play sand and peat to fill the areas that are really low now, and let them play in it. They love that stuff.

    You'll probably have some really fertile compost out of the stuff you're dumping in the woods next year!!

    ** Edited to add that my hubby has just reminded me that if your birds are eating feed that has porcine protein or other animal protein, it makes the poo ****SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO**** much stinkier than if you don't!! I had forgotten that possibility. Our birds eat an all grain diet and their poo really hardly stinks. If you added up all the poo all winter, and none of it was dry (because it was frozen fresh) and thawed it all at once, it wouldn't be so bad, but if it was from feed-store feed with porcine protein, it would smell like a hog farm!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2009
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Oh I know what your going through, and I am sorry. It horrible hu!? We have a really low laying area..where the end of the runs are...and WOW does it get stinky! Like gumpsgirl...I spread ag lime heavily. It sure takes the smell down....ALOT!
  6. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    hmmm.. I must be picky..I cleaned my coop all winter-I mean emptied rightout and new pine shavings and all-I can't tell how how cold it was when it was 10 below scraping the frozen poopcycles everywhere-bleah..we tried so hard not to have that it was 60 for the first time this season and yup the smell was there==we dug a trench to let the flooding of the snow melting -right threw the coop mind you-and out the other side-we raked it all down today and spread it all out to let it dry out-that way well clean it all up next week and put it in the compost pile-shavings and all-being picky still stinks --lol....[​IMG]:weee:bow
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, it's all the winter's worth of poo and such suddenly thawing. My horse shed is going through that (I clean the shed itself quite clean, but it's impossible to get all of the poop outside b/c it gets covered with snow, so springtime can be messy).

    If you can bear to scrape/dig out as much as is thawed and replace with clean dry coarse wood chips, it will be much better, but realistically you may just have to do everything you can to encourage to dry out (try trenching around it) and just wait for the smell to subside.

    If (as I think you may be saying) it's gotten compacted/eroded so that the run and/or the coop is a 'low spot', below the surrounding ground level, you definitely need to bring in fill to raise it up level or preferably a bit higher than the surrounding ground. If you can manage to have a largeish quantity of something delivered I'd suggest the sand/dirt/gravel mix used to build road beds, I believe the Ontario term is "A gravel" or "aggregate A" or something like that. Limestone screenings would also be good, but pricier. If you will be buying bags of something, I'd suggest a mix of gravel and sand.

    Good luck,

  8. cimarron

    cimarron Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2008
    Central Tejas
    yep we just got a big rain and all of a sudden...PHEW!
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is a powdered product called Stable Boy that is safe to use with sand, straw, shavings, hay, gravel- any aggregrate you might choose to improve the run. I use it in my horse stall, my chicken coop, even in sleeping boxes for the barn cats. It can safely be mixed with food-grade diatomaceous earth, too. Knocks the smell down in 5 minutes- seriously! The mineral in it is mined in British Columbia and it is sold across Canada...[​IMG]
  10. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Quote:I'm picky too and cleaned my coop all winter long as well. It gets cleaned completely out at least every three weeks, if not sooner and the run still stinks to high heaven. I don't think it matters how picky or picky you are. Chickens are going to smell like chickens when things get moistened up.

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