Smelly Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by debbielou, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. debbielou

    debbielou Hatching

    Oct 5, 2009

    We have had 3 hens for about 3 months now and we are having problems with the smell. The chicken poo is removed on a daily basis. We use soil in the chicken coop which is changed on a weekly basis. The nest box has straw in it with wood shavings in the roosting area. All chicken droppings are removed daily. They also have quite a large run during the day but the smell of ammonia is very strong and we are afraid that the neighbours may complain. I would welcome any advice on this matter.

    Thanks in anticipation of your replies
  2. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:It's the dirt on the flooring - you can remove the poo but the liquid part of the poo gets into the dirt and it stinks it up.

    Try using wood shavings on the floor of the coop, instead of dirt, and maybe sand in the run (dries out faster, is easier to rake it around and stir the wetness to the top so it can dry out).

    the ammonia smell means that ammonia is being trapped in there, and it will cause respiratory problems with your chickens, too.

    good luck [​IMG]

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  3. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    Does the smell seem to be coming from your coop? Better ventilation could help that, along with the other suggestion to change the bedding in the coop.

    The other thing to consider is your feed. I noticed when I switched feeds the chicken smell disappeared.
  4. Harrietsmum

    Harrietsmum Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    Do you have a poop board under their night roost? I take mine out every morning, give it a hose down, leave it to air, then put it back in the late afternoon. Keeps 90% of the poop out of the coop.
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Using some Stall-Dri or DE mixed in with shavings in the coop and run area will also help to alleviate the odor.
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    You might check out these directions for deep litter method,

    And as a thumbs up for d.e., i have 27 chicks in an outdoor brooder that is starting to get too small for them. At first i just had pine shavings in there for bedding, and it smelled SO bad - that ammonia smell you were talking about.

    Yesterday, i cleaned it out and added d.e. to the shavings like with the deep litter method. And this morning, after 27 growing chicks pooped in it all night, it smells GOOD. I have never had anything chicken related smell GOOD.

    I would think that it would be impossible to keep that ammonia smell down with soil. It just has no chance whatsoever to dry out.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I agree, the soil is likely at least part of the problem.

    Generally you get stink indoors from either a) insufficient ventilation or b) too much moisture for even a totally open coop to dissipate; you get stink *outdoors* from too much moisture.

    For indoors problems see my ventilation page and/or fix leaks; for outdoors see my fixing a muddy run page [​IMG] (links in .sig below)

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. I think it's the soil too. Definately good ventilation is a must.
  9. debbielou

    debbielou Hatching

    Oct 5, 2009
    Thanks for all your replies - I am going to give the deep litter method a go and definitely get rid of the soil.
  10. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:Without seeing pictures of your setup, I'd suggest a close evaluation of your ventilation as well... Pat's ventilation page is a must-read.

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