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What to do about the smell.......

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Scrambled Egg, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I scooped out quite alot of the shavings/old alfalfa/leftover scratch/poop...general floor of the open run stuff out tonight...it was really, really wet from all the rain we've had, so I thought maybe it was smelling for that reason...it has an odd almost sweet smell (maybe the alfalfa could be causing the sweetish smell?)...but my DH walked outside when I was raking the stuff I had scooped out all around in my garden area...he said it smelled really strong of chicken poop. Well, having no experience with chickens in my life before getting these, I had no idea that was what I was smelling (still wonder if most of it was the damp alfalfa & 'other stuff) but now I am really worried that when the weather gets hot I may have a BIG problem with my neighbors over the smell. What does everyone do about the smell?! [​IMG]
     

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I just had this experience with my runs, but with the cold weather, haven't had the chance to fix it. To me, it smelled like bags of potatoes going bad, but my DH says he can't smell anything at all. Weirdo, LOL. What we usually do is to rototill the ground inside the pens and add lots of woodash and DE into it, then spread fresh shavings on top afterward. It refreshes the ground quite a bit. You can also use lime, but they have to stay off of it till it gets washed into the soil, unless you use the pulverized limestone to till in, which isnt as good for what you're doing, but will sweeten it up somewhat.
     
  3. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    So, if the wood ash and DE are primarily meant to dry it out, then the real issue is not so much the poop but is more the dampness making the whole lot of it smell? If that's the case, I can shovel out the wet stuff till I get to dry dirt. I've never used DE and with my chickens being almost a year old and no health problems to date, I'd be alittle nervous to introduce something brand new to them now. Maybe I'll do some more shoveling this weekend...thanks Cynthia! It is odd though that I have never noticed the "chicken poop" smell, lol!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  4. BantyChickMom

    BantyChickMom Songster

    Sep 25, 2007
    Henderson, NC
    I notice a "smell" in my pens too, especially after a long hard rain.
    I just add some pine shavings in the run and that seems to take care of it.
    Darlene, I really do think a lot of the smell is from the dampness.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yes, the wetness is the main problem, but tilling the ground under and adding some ash or pulverized lime will help alot. DE isn't necessary, but it's just something I have used when I have it on hand and since it's natural, it won't hurt them, but use what you have. Just tilling the ground or spading it over and adding a bunch of fresh shavings on top will help some.
    Wood ash is alkaline and chicken poop is acidic, so I think that helps with the smell, to neutralize it some, not just in the drying out of the run. Could be I'm off base, but it just seems to help.
     
  6. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I really never have thought to use my pine shavings in the pen Tammy, I use them in their sleeping area and the nesting boxes and it primarily stays in those places, might try that too. Cynthia, will that wood ash hurt them if they eat it? I know where I can get some of that and could add it this weekend too. Do yours eat it?
     
  7. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    I get that smell to. its the water and shavings. My weekly cleanings are getting to be daily cleaning now
     

  8. i only get a smell when we have lots of rain or snow, like the past week, so I just added more hay and sprinkled good with DE when it dries out I will clean all the old hay and replace it with good fresh hay and more DE.

    mother to 12 RIR. 1 Pitt bull ,1 poodlemix,1 Yorkie and crabby gray cat , but most important 1 DH of 54 years
     
  9. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    You can try find "stall dry" used for horses, it absorbs moisture and keeps things nice and dry....
     
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oh and the stuff called Sweet PDZ - I bought some on line once - worked really well but I can't find a local supply and shipping adds up!
     

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