So... much... poo...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nugget, May 29, 2008.

  1. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    I hope I'm posting this in the right place. When we built our coop I thought we were overdoing it. It's 48 square feet which should house 12 chickens shouldn't it??

    When we raised our first 8 it got pretty stinky in there pretty fast. 5 of our 8 first chicks were male so we gave 4 away leaving us with 2 pullets, 1 roo and 1 little bantam hen. The difference was surprising, the coop stayed so much cleaner!

    I got more chicks this spring and now have 3 adult full sized, 1 adult bantam, 3 near adults and 5 teenagers. There are 3 chicks in the house that are a few weeks away from joining the others. It is a total poop party in the coop! 48 hours after cleaning it out (and even vacuuming) it is as nasty as ever. At this time there are 4 cockerels that will be leaving sometime soon so hopefully that will help us out somewhat [​IMG]

    My chickens are pets and I would like the coop to be... not a revolting place to be! There is an electric bathroom fan in there that helps somewhat. There are 'bleacher perches' on one side and rafters up above. The sleep in the rafters and spend the days in and out of the coop bleachers and their enclosed run.

    What works for keeping it mopre pleasant? I saw 'manure pits' after we finished our coop, which I might be able to put in under the bleachers if it is worth the effort.

    Can people share what works for them? Are there any tricks for coop management to keep poop and odor under control? If you click my coop link below you can see what my set up is

    TIA [​IMG]
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    My birds spend most of their time in their Lot and only go in to the coup at night or to lay. The main house has 21 birds in a 10x10 building. They do very well and house only has a smell first thing in the morning before they are let out. Their lot doesn't smell, but I keep at 20 square feet per bird in the Lot.

    The minumum I would allow a lot to be is 15 Sq Ft per bird.

    For litter I use 4+" of shavings. The birds them stirred up really well. This prevents caking and keeps everything dry. The only house I have to stir is the Standard Cochin house.

    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  3. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    oops, I just realized the pix on the coop site are a little old. Here are some that show more of the interior setup.


    The bleachers are on hinges to swing up out of the way for cleaning.
    Edited to add: These pix are from when the first chicks were first moved into the coop. It's not that spotless anymore [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  4. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    Their run is about 18 feet by 12 feet (216 foot sq). I limit their access a little because the rooster is such a loudmouth and I don't want my neighbours getting resentful.

    I tend to go sparing with wood chips because I find I'm cleaning it out fairly often (and I want to compost it... with more wood chips I find the ratio of wood to poo makes it harder to break down) but that is something I can totally change.

    This is the coop and run together. The run is smelly when it's damp out, that's another thing I'd appreciate tips on [​IMG]

  5. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    That coop is pretty sweet! Good job and great looking hoodlums! [​IMG]
  6. Bisqit&Gravy

    Bisqit&Gravy Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    That's nice!! All I have is a little dog house and a carrier bottom turned over...haha. Still waiting on my dad to bring the huge dog house over so I can remodel it:)

    I don't have much advise for the smell. I only have 4 bantams and 1 bigger one in the 14'x14' yard. We had some odor when it had alot of shade. After we trimmed trees around it the smell went away. Guess the sun cooks it away.
    Also on very sunny days when it's gonna dry quick we hose the yard off.
  7. lengel

    lengel Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    How many vent openings do you have for the coop? It's a beautiful setup but I don't see any openings near the eaves. You might want to try making the run bigger. Our actual indoor space is tiny and the space between the eaves and the walls is open except for the frame. Also, the hens spend most of their time outside in their enclosure. It takes a long time before the interior of our coop starts to smell. I was told that the primary source of odor is ammonia from their urine so as long as there are enough "holes" in the coop, it should be OK.
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    First may I say that that is the cutest darn coop!

    I also just wanted to say that I feel for you! I only have 1 roo and 1 hen and their coop is smallish - maybe 4 x 6 x 8 foot tall and even tho it is completely depooped every morning the amount of poop they make overnight has it smelling by morning, when I completely depoop all over again! I have a vent at the top so that air circulates.
    Their run is 8 x 30 and when they are cooped up in there when I'm at work it fills with poop like crazy - just amazing. I completely depoop that daily too, or things would be completely out of control (plus I don't want to give a chance for bacteria to have a field day).

    If chicken poop could be turned into fuel, we wouldn't have to worry about gas prices!

    All the best.
  9. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Quote:That is one of the cutest chicken coops I've ever seen!
  10. riderbecky

    riderbecky Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Ottawa Valley
    Very cute coop!

    Regarding smelliness...have you considered agricultural lime? [​IMG] I'm using it along with DE and a combo poo picking / deep bedding method. We'll see how that works for me. [​IMG] I'm just starting this chicken thing and only resently moved my girls out of the house. (do they ever kick up a lot of dust)

    I know about the lime trick because that is what we sprinkle on the floors of horse stalls after mucking out in the morning. Cuts the ammonia smell right out...and we all know how much horse pee reaks.[​IMG]

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