Warmer weather-ammonia smell in coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LipsChicks, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chirping

    Dec 31, 2014
    North Dakota
    Now that our weather is above freezing my coop is smelling of ammonia. I've been using the deep litter method and obviously am doing something wrong. My husband is convinced that the natural composting in the coop will destroy the floor of my new coop. I'm on the fence now as what to do. I've been using pine shavings because I can't lift the straw bales. I've got another pack of wood shavings-would putting that in now help with the ammonia or just cover it up?
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    If you can smell the ammonia, it is already at five times greater than is healthy for the lungs of your chickens. Get it the heck out of there! I have tried the deep litter method for one month on my wood floor coop and was not happy. it's a tricky balance that I was unable to achieve. I knew,even though most of the poop seemed frozen, the moisture level in the coop was too high. I went back to weekly cleaning and replacing pine shavings. I feel much better about their respiratory health.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    If you're smelling ammonia, your bedding mix is too wet. You'll either need to clean it out, or add enough dry bedding to dry it up. When you do deep litter, you have to turn it often so the stuff thats on the bottom makes it to the top to dry (and add new bedding to keep the mix right). I use the deep litter method, but most of my coops have a dirt floor. I don't use it in my coop with a wooden floor, I don't want any rot to happen there.

    Anyway, good luck!
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I am trying DL in my coop (linoleum over wood floor) Got ammonia smell back in December. did a partial clean out, removing the stuff from under the perches. Then, because there was some bare ground, and a bit of a warm spell, I was able to salvage some compost and soil/leaves from the garden. Put that under the perches, moved the litter from the front of the coop back to cover the compost, and added some fresh shavings to top things off. So far, things are much better. For me, the jury is still out about whether DL will work in my wood floor coop. Had awesome DL in ground level of my old coop with leaves and grass clippings.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've only had dirt floor coops, but whenever I can smell ammonia I simply add shavings. Mix well and it takes care of things.

    Do you have anything to protect your wood floor?

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