Regardless of cleaning, still stinky...new solution!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DazeGoneBy, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2011
    We have a little coop and run that we clean, rake, spread DE, etc. EVERY WEEK and it still stinks. And we have flies like crazy. We really want to spend time watching chicken TV, but it was pretty unappealing due to that.
    [​IMG]

    My hubby was talking to one of his friends who has chickens and they don't have such a problem. Their secret?

    Leaves.

    That's it. They put leaves in the bottom of their run, over the gravel. That gives the poop something to land on and not be stepped in right away, time to dry out, and the chickens will eventually scratch it into crumbles.

    D'oh!

    We have a wire tower we use for yard leaves right beside our coop. You can see the corner of it here:
    [​IMG]


    We have a composter we add poop and pine shavings to, mix with those leaves, add food scraps and turn every day hoping for good soil to use in the garden come spring. Why wait to add the leaves to the compost when we can add it to the run now, save a step, and cut down on the smell.

    Plus, hubby said when he threw leaves down in the run, the girls were out scratching in the garden dirt and came RUNNING back to get inside the run and scratch around. They love it.

    I feel a little bit stoopid. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    That coop is darling! Fall is a good time for us because we have a six acre woods, and we've got plenty of leaves. I've used them for years. They do work well.

    Sharon
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Great idea, we have lots of leaves to spare. You have a cute coop.
     
  4. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    I too use leaves, I have sand in my run and it works fine but the leaves are great for soaking up moisture and the chickens LOVE to dig in them lol, I throw a garbage bag full of leaves in there and they will spend the entire day digging and foraging for bugs or treats in the leaves lol
     
  5. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks scratch'n'peck & chicmom for the compliments. [​IMG]

    The chickens don't know whether we've thrown down worms or scratch, so they are just hunting like crazy. I'm sure it's good for their mental health to have something to do all day while I'm at work. [​IMG]
     
  6. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what a great looking coop! Thanks for the tip on the leaves, my girls are going out soon to the coop and if this snow melts, I will be putting some leaves in th run- freak snow storm here last weekend...leaves still on the trees!
     
  7. Titus2Woman

    Titus2Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ok I feel stupid... Don't the leaves make a huge mess of the sand? How do you clean them put when they are all broken up? My husband is VERY apprehensive about me getting chickens because oaf the whole smell thing so I am trying to learn as much as I can before I get the chickens...
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    This is helpful, because I'm taking home 10 LARGE bags of leaves from my father [​IMG]

    I don't need to do anything before putting them down right?
     
  9. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ok I feel stupid... Don't the leaves make a huge mess of the sand? How do you clean them put when they are all broken up? My husband is VERY apprehensive about me getting chickens because oaf the whole smell thing so I am trying to learn as much as I can before I get the chickens...

    I remember when we were first building the coop, my hubby mentioned putting leaves in the run over the gravel, and I was like, "No! It will make the gravel messy." I wanted pristine, white gravel.

    <cough> ahem. Yes. Well.

    As I learned, nothing about chicken keeping is pristine. The gravel has black bits in it now anyway, from the dirt bath we put in (see my BYC page on the bathing experiment we did: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=101301-the-bathing-experiment) plus poop we can't scoop even using our special scooper (shown at the end of my main BYC page), plus feathers, bits of rind from food treats we put in their suet cage, etc.

    The leaves sit on top of the river gravel we have, and when they are all broken up, they just eventually turn to dust. We haven't been doing this long enough to see if we will need to occasionally rake up the leaves and replace with fresh ones...maybe someone who has experience can speak to that. Otherwise, we are playing this whole thing by ear ourselves. I've only been raising chickens since July, though my folks had them when I was young. The extent of my knowledge going in was how to pull a long-sleeved shirt over your hand and hold with your fingers long enough to get under a broody hen and get the morning eggs. :)
     
  10. DazeGoneBy

    DazeGoneBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I guess that depends on what you have down now. If it is just dirt, then expect a mud problem when the leaves break down... but you'd have that already anyway. I didn't do anything special but put down about an inch of leaves on top of the river sand we have.

    If someone else has different ideas, I'd love to hear them, too!
     

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