What Am I Doimg Wrong!!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hwlchickmama, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Hwlchickmama

    Hwlchickmama Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2011
    I have 8 girls and a about a 4x8 coop using deep litter method and the smell of ammonia is awful and I have dew on the windows in the am!! I live in NJ and its only mildly cold but will get much worse. I am afraid my girls will get frostbite and be effected by the ammonia smell. I read that the smell is from moisture so I have mixed the pine chips w/ DE but it doesn't seem to help. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!!!!!![​IMG]
  2. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2011
    Need more ventilation.
  3. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    Do you have enough ventilation for your coop ? I use lyme for any smell issues myself.
  4. swamy

    swamy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2011
    Sounds like a classic case of inadequate ventilation. A coop needs ample openings...above the roost height in the winter. Fresh air needs to flow in one side and out the other. Think about it like flushing a toilet, only you are flushing out the bad air/moisture.

    The other cause could be excessive heat. When hot and cold meet they make moisture.

    Combine the two and you have a wet/frosty stinky coop with frost bitten sick birds.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What you need to do is to add ventilation at the top of your coop. You do not want a breeze blowing directly on them but a breeze over their heads while roosting is fine as long as it does not hit them directly.

    I don't know what your coop looks like, but if you have an overhang, cut out under that overhang and put hardware cloth over that to keep predators like raccoons from climbing in. I'm not talking about teeny tiny little bitty holes. What I did was leave the area between the rafters open and cover that, plus have areas on the other two walls open.

    Cold is not your enemy as long as they have decent ventilation and a breeze is not hitting them directly. Cold is not your enemy. Lack of ventilation is. The ammonia will damage their respiratory system. The moisture build-up can cause frostbite even if it does not get that cold in there.
  6. littleflocker

    littleflocker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2011
    Island County WA
    I had the same bad experience with the DLM. I switched to droppings boards\\drawers and now my coop never smells of ammonia because the poop is out in the open drying out all day. My coop is very well ventilated and I still got the ammonia smell from burying the poop in pine chips. If i used the DLM i would try sand. OK so when my drawers under the roosts get full I just dump them out. Thats it! I use the sandy dirtier used chips from the coop floor to line the bottom of the drawers before i put them back in, that way there is a layer about 1" inch of chips for the poop to stick to instead of sticking to the board. Then I can replenish the coop with clean chips. Like magic my coop has the essence of a pine forest [​IMG]
    less time cleaning poop more time surfing [​IMG]
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I have 8 chickens, I clean 2-5 times a day with a litter box scooper of the coop and run. Our coop is in our garage and there is zero smell. All we smell is a faint pine chip smell. It takes me about 3 minutes each time to clean up the poop.

    I tried the deep litter method this winter to insulate the coop more, but I dig through there anyways and get the poop out.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  8. ALRwild

    ALRwild Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
  9. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Quote:Agreed. Sand does not work for deep litter method, as it is a way of composting the poop and an organic material. Excessive moisture will make it stinky, and the fact that you have condensation in your coop is clear evidence that you have this problem. It may also help to add more shavings to help absorb the moisture better, and I agree poop boards will help even with DLM. good luck!
  10. Hwlchickmama

    Hwlchickmama Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2011
    I built a 12x8 shed and put a wall across the middle and a "celing" at stud height making a room for the girls and shed/storage people space. I put a bathroom fan on a thermostat in the room that vents into a "loft" like space that is open the the rafters I was thinking about taking the thermostat off and just running the fan during the day any other suggestions?? Here are sone pics from the people door into the coop from the summer when I had a window fan in the big window.

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