Hi everyone - I'm very new to caring for backyard chickens. I inherited them from the previous owners of a house I just purchased. I have 5 hens and 5 silkies. I have been looking so many things up on the internet in search of good advice as I am really just learning how to care for them. So far, so good. The problem that I am running into is smelly poop which I cannot recall having just about a week ago. I've been caring for them for about 3 weeks now and so far, that's the only change I can tell. I noticed that very recently, some of the poop I am seeing is a soft, ball of poop. Not really solid but just like a circle of soft, perhaps runny poop. I can't tell if it is all of the chickens or a specific one or two as I work full time. I am starting to smell the poop and it smells horrid. I can also smell a hint of it as I approach the front gate of the coop. I know that this can't be good and am looking for some experienced advice on what could be going on. I think one or two or more of the chickens could be sick (although their behavior has not changed at all) but am not sure how sick and what and I am trying to figure out how to mask the smelly poop smell before it consumes the air in my backyard. Is there anything I can do as far as masking the poop smell which is outside of the coop, on the dirt that they walk out onto, when coming out for fresh air? I kind of raked any old, dried up poop that I could see which has helped improve the smell but it still lurks. Should I buy sand/gravel to lay down over the dirt outside of the coop and if so, does that actually help and how is that maintained? So many questions! Please help. Thanks.