Smelly, wet run! Help!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shorkie16, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. shorkie16

    shorkie16 Hatching

    May 9, 2014
    Going to try to keep this short. I'm a chicken newbie and decided to go with a chicken tractor instead of building a coop. Turns out they don't work well on sloped yards (husband tried to tell me!). In order to even it up, we built a chicken "deck" and put the whole tractor on it, making it permanent. The birds run loose in the yard all day but the problem I'm having is the run has wood chips in it and it STINKS after it rains. Plus it has turned into huge, clumpy mess. Should I try to clean it out and let them walk on the bare wood in the run? I can't stand the smell, and they are only in there at night and in the mornings. I've heard pros and cons about sand.
  2. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    I would just replace the wood chips with new ones once they get smelly.
  3. LittleGecko

    LittleGecko Chirping

    Jul 5, 2014
    Hi I have seen a product for chicken runs made from tyre rubber shaped into large pellets, it can be hosed down with water and a poultry safe disinfectant as often as needed and lasts for years and is none toxic.
    I can't remember what it is called but have seen it in poultry magazines.
    1 person likes this.
  4. patti17340

    patti17340 In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2013
    Littlestown, Pa
    How many chickens do you have in your pen ? I used wood chips in my pen for my baby chicks . I had 15 the pen it is about 3ft by 8ft. I found that the chips did get smelly. I just cleaned them out every week and put clean in. Also my chicks had a sleeping area that was separate to the yard so that they had a roosting place. I have since moved my chicks now 16 wks old to a big coop with a yard since I can not let them roam free when I am not home
  5. shorkie16

    shorkie16 Hatching

    May 9, 2014
    I have 7 in mine, but they spend most of the day free ranging. I cleaned it out tonight and it was a nightmare! The shavings had gotten wet, smelled AWFUL, and I flooded my whole run trying to hose that junk out. I don't really want to put anything in the bottom
    After that experience...
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Not sure what negatives you've heard, but I use sand in my coops and I love it! I use the really coarse stuff that has a little bit of small pea gravel mixed in. It drains well and is easy to clean. I use a rake and/or a large litter pan scoop, and poop and clumps are so easy to remove once a week or so (depending on coop size vs. amount of birds). Sand from a landscaping or gravel company is MUCH cheaper than buying it by the bag...a ton is under $20 in most areas - you can store extra sand on a tarp (cover it) and replace sand in the run as needed (like replacing kitty litter in litter pan). My oldest girls are five yrs. old - I've been using sand for four years and seen zero ill effects...
  7. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Do you have drainage issues?

    How deep is the litter?
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    I believe deep litter and wood shaving are meant for inside the coop, so if you use it in the run where it gets rained on and dew moisture and stays wet, it is going to smell.

    Why not put the tractor on dirt ground (maybe leveling a portion of the yard)? Make sure water runs away from your run and your problem will go away.

    Just know that there can be a scent of chickens... farm fresh, but not the foul poopy smell.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

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