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  1. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2015
    Urbandale, IA
    I've always pulled my soiled dried prairie grass bedding out into my run area for the chickens to help breakdown and play through for treats. We got a good amount of rain over this last week and now one certain spot smells putrid. What can I do besides pull everything out and start over?
    The base is round river Rock with sand and I have put the dried grasses over that.

    I've been moving the wet sand and rocks around a couple times a day to get it to dry out but it is still awful.

  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Spring often brings bad odors along with wetness and warmer weather. You might try adding a bale or two of wood shavings to help soak up the moisture. Turning it daily will help as well. Barn lime can be used in stinky spots, apply a thin coat under the bedding you have in the run.
  3. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2015
    Urbandale, IA

    Thank you! Are you talking wood much you would put in decorative areas or chipped branches? I look for barn lime will tomorrow. I was moving a lot of bedding around over the last couple days to try and help but it has gotten away from me apparently!
  4. ksguy

    ksguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2015
    I think they're referring to pine wood shavings like you'd get at Orscheln or Tractor Supply.

    I ran into the smelly run issue yesterday. We've gotten quite a bit of rain over the last couple weeks, and even with the wind, the shaded run hasn't dried out very much. I use straw in the run and I'm pretty sure the deep litter has gone anaerobic even with my turning it every few days. I'll just be raking it all out tonight, letting the bare dirt dry for a day or two, and starting over fresh. Straw is not as absorbent as some alternatives but I prefer it because I can let the chickens peck through it for a few weeks/months, to pick out the seeds, then set it aside to use as mulch in the garden. The poop is just a bonus.
  5. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just thinking about this issue in composting terms...you may need more of the good bacteria to help break things down...if you have any finished compost that might help to add it in the long term....the lime is a GREAT idea, and what I know about compost is that if it is smelly, add more carbon. I even put shredded paper in my run amongst other things and the chickens make it disappear....also thinking that, failing the compost, some bagged topsoil? And how about wood ash...or anything to open up/aerate the sand...
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, just bagged stall bedding type shavings - I prefer the course, the fine is too dusty.
  7. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    This would be a more permanent solution...not a short term solution.

    Remove all the surface material from the area in question. Trench the area in a grid pattern and trench in a small leach field. Lay in perforated drain pipe into the trench, then fill in the trench over the pipe with pea gravel. Take all the removed surface material and re-lay this on top of the area, contouring and landscaping as needed or desired.

    All should be fine once this completed. [​IMG]
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    First, correct any drainage issues by diverting as much runoff water as possible.
    Then a good deep(~6") layer of a mix of sizes, shapes, materials of organic matter.

    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

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