1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Really bad ammonia smell

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ladybug99, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Monroe New Jersey
    Hi every one!

    I seem to be having an ammonia issue in my smaller coop.... it houses 14 chickens and is about 15feet by 15 feet. I have ample roosts and plenty of nesting boxes.....here is my problem

    We were hit really bad with Hurricane Irene, in fact the coops were under about 12 inches of water..... the poor chickies were stuck on thier roosts for days....well ever since then some of them have taken to sleeping in the nesting boxes.

    I have a sand that covers a metal floor. Since the hurricane the coop has been totally cleaned out and sanitized, and new sand placed in the coop area. It has been raining here for the past week and yesterday I noticed the coop smells horribly of ammonia and I can not find the spot where it is comming from.

    The sand is clean, the food area is clean and I clean out the nesting boxes they sleep in every day. There are no leaks from the outside. The boxes are filled with shavings.. I am thinking there is a nest box I am missing.... what do you guys think???

  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    I would get a large bag of food grade DE and spread it around. Ammonia smelling sounds like urine but you said you cleaned. If the odor still exists I would move the coop if possible it may be under it that the odor is permeating from.

    Just a thought,

  3. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Wouldn't that be an inadequate ventilation issue? Higher humidity could affect the ventilation needed.
  4. AnnieAlbright

    AnnieAlbright Chirping

    Jun 27, 2011
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Hi ladybug! I'm not far from you (East on 33 a little) and I've noticed our coop isn't as dry as it usually is either. Luckily I haven't had an ammonia problem, but I do notice a little mustiness when I stick my head in there. I think it's from the constant rain and humidity we've had... the coop just can't dry out, even with the ventilation. The air is moist, heavy and not moving. Even the ground it's sitting on is water-logged and we live on a hill! I was actually going to close the girls in the run today and open up the coop so it could really dry, but I see ominous grey clouds rolling in, again, so there's that. [​IMG] I agree with SteveBaz- get some DE and spread it everywhere. I think that's what has kept our coop from being stinky this week. Where's autumn?... I'm ready for some crisp breezes and cooler air! Hope you find a solution! [​IMG]
  5. Lime will restore the PH and eliminate the odor. Rake it in good. Never had any use for DE. Waste of money in my opinion.......Pop
  6. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Monroe New Jersey
    Well I found the problem... I had two areas that were totally saturated and wet on the floor.. one was under the ceiling vent... with all the rain it must have blown in and under one of the windows in the corner. I guess its hard to see the dampness in the sand but when I raked it out again... whew almost knocked me over.....I dug out all the older sand and put in new, spread some DE... the problems seems to be solved for now.

    Hi Annie... no we are not far from one and other... I live right down the street from the Englishtown Auction... so we are very close [​IMG]

    We have still not dried out from the hurricane... and we just still keep getting more and more rain!!! We won't talk about the girls' run.. what a mucky mess!! but they don't seem to mind at all.. but it is a bit stinky down there by the coops... I am egarely waiting that crisp fall air my self [​IMG]
  7. Quote:DE is totally useles when wet or damp. You wasted your money on the stuff. Clean sand did the job, not DE. Lime will help keep the smell down........Pop

  8. goldfinches

    goldfinches Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I have the same problem, I also have sand, but have been barely opening my coop due to the rain and it's really stinky now. I don't want my girls' noses burning. I've scooped out all the wet sand I can find, but my floor is wood and I'm having trouble getting it dry. I have some garden lime, is that the kind I should try?

    I was also planning to get some Stall Dry to try.
  9. TammyP

    TammyP Songster

    Oct 2, 2009
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:I thought lime was caustic to their little feet and respiratory systems?? no?

    1 person likes this.
  10. sharonspetchickens

    sharonspetchickens Hatching

    Oct 18, 2010
    I read in my latest issue of Backyard Poultry that if you spread oak leaves down. They are tough and high in carbon, so they break down slowly while absorbing the nitrogen from large quantites of droppings. In the spring, it will produce a compost for the garden.
    Sharons pet chickens
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by