stinky chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by anthrochick, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. anthrochick

    anthrochick Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have 6 6 week old chicks. They have a great coop and large run. The run is made of two chain link dog kennels, not sure of size but they have plenty of room. Nice mix of sun and shade under some evergreen trees. My question is: what's the best way to keep the run from being stinky? I am really surprised it already smells. Even when it's very dry and there isn't that much poop in there yet. The coop doesn't smell, just the run. I read some folks mention putting lime down, but they eat a lot from the floor of the pen so I wonder about the advisability of that. Should I put litter in the run? Would love to hear your suggestions.
  2. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    Putting in some sand will be the best thing you ever did!
  3. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Yeah, I agree.

    Put some sand in the run.

    My chicks have about an acre to free range, so I don't have the smell problem.

    BUT if a chicken cuts one loose next to me while I'm sitting with them . . . OH MY GOSH . . . [​IMG]

    I swear fresh chicken poop should be used by our military instead of any other type of weapons!

    And it's biodegradable. [​IMG]
  4. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Near Seattle
    does sand only work if it's dry? as in, if it's a covered run? I have sand in my covered run now, and I scoop it out every day or two and it doesn't smell... but I wonder if that's because it's dry or if it's just how it is with sand?
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I had sand in my run before and after my husband made a roof over it. It is good either covered or not. And I will go and scoop up the poop with a kitty litter scooper, and I rake it quite often. Keeps the smell down and also we don't have flies.
  6. debryman

    debryman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Joshua Tree CA
    We have an ENDLESS supply of sand here so it is not only in the run but in the coop and on the poop board. No smell at all and a BREEZE to clean up!
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just keep the area dry, that is the key. You said there are a lot of pines in the area, don't allow any mulching action occuring under them in the run? Keep the run clear of organic material and things will remain sweet to the nose
  8. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I have about 3" of pine shavings in coop and run. Keeping the odor down has never been a problem. Do NOT put down lime.
    I'll bet since it is an ex kennel that it has a concrete floor which is great for dog poop, but not so good for the chicken variety. If you had
    some dirt or sand under them the chicks could scratch, and doing so will turn the sand or shavings over into the dirt, keeping down
    the oder and making great fertilizer in the process..

    I would put down sand or shavings if they can be kept dry. Also you might want to try a product called Sweet PDZ, which people claim
    gives great results for odor control.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm really surprised that those six small chicks in a decent sized dry run is causing a stink. That just does not sound right. Are you absolutely sure it is chicken poop and not something else?

    What is on the floor of the run now? Are they scratching something up that is causing the smell?
  10. anthrochick

    anthrochick Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2011
    North Carolina
    The floor of their run is covered with dirt (sandy, but not added sand) and some pine needles (not a lot of them and not added ones, just some that happened to be there). I too was surprised it was stinky. But then I am sensitive to it as my chicks are technically illegal. We have a huge lot and the run isn't right next to our house, so it's not a big problem, but especially since I just have 6 young pullets in there I thought I'd better start figuring out the options. Also we like to sit next to the coop and watch them.

    We do need to figure out a way to make it dry eventually. But right now it is VERY dry (because of the weather) and it still smells like a little barnyard.

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