What to put on coop ground to prevent odors?

firsttimefarmgirl

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
17
13
34
Hello everyone!
I am constructing a coop for my three hens right now. I plan on putting my Omlet Eglu house inside of it. Their yard right now is from Omlet, but they needed some more space. The ground in their current yard is plain dirt and smells bad, often after it rains (I am in Western Washington.) For their new coop, the ground is mostly rocks/pebbles we had laying around. Is there any way to control the odor from the coop/reduce it? I have seen some people create a layer of dead leaves, pine shavings, etc. but I wanted to ask here and see if I could get some advice. I'm happy to clarify anything, thank you!
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,308
701
Central PA
Coop ground? I'm assuming you mean the run, but correct me if I'm wrong, and you are talking about the inside of the coop itself.

I've read very bad things about having a rock bottom for a run—one guy reported that a lot of his chicken feed washed down into the gravel where it could not be got at, and it rotted there. This would, of course, mostly be an issue if you were feeding them outside, but depending on space, chicken poop could build up as well.

The dead leaves/pine shavings method is pretty highly recommended. Check out the Deep Litter Method. It's pretty popular. I've never used it myself; I've just got plain dirt, but my run's on one one of the best-drained parts of the property, so I've not had issues.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
4,686
13,676
536
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Hello everyone!
I am constructing a coop for my three hens right now. I plan on putting my Omlet Eglu house inside of it. Their yard right now is from Omlet, but they needed some more space. The ground in their current yard is plain dirt and smells bad, often after it rains (I am in Western Washington.) For their new coop, the ground is mostly rocks/pebbles we had laying around. Is there any way to control the odor from the coop/reduce it? I have seen some people create a layer of dead leaves, pine shavings, etc. but I wanted to ask here and see if I could get some advice. I'm happy to clarify anything, thank you!


I had river rocks and pebbles under my water source (ducks, sloppy disgusting eaters), has to be hosed down periodically, and prone to having food, droppings, and everything else plugging the spaces between the river rocks. This creates smell. Spent hours undoing it, do not recommend.

My run is inches deep in leaf litter and spent straw from the hen house. Wood chips, if I ad them, would also be welcome addition. They play in it, scratching around. It composts very slowly, there is almost no odor at all, and its deep enough that, except in heavy rains, they keep their feet dry. The ground has been regraded to slope away from the run, so when it does rain cats and dogs (we avg almost 58"/yr, seasonally heavy) it drains, and dries, quickly.

Use the same under my hen house (elevated 3' off the ground) as the ducks sleep there. Again, virtually no odor - but must be well ventilated, like anything else.

and my run is about 1,000 sq ft, for reference. Its about a half day's effort to gather and transport the leaves I need from my surrounding woods. Repeat as needed.

STRONGLY recommend.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,902
35,882
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Coop ground? I'm assuming you mean the run, but correct me if I'm wrong, and you are talking about the inside of the coop itself.

The dead leaves/pine shavings method is pretty highly recommended. Check out the Deep Litter Method. It's pretty popular. I've never used it myself; I've just got plain dirt, but my run's on one one of the best-drained parts of the property, so I've not had issues.

x2, think there's some confusion with terminology. Your "house" is the coop. What you're building (I think) is the run.

I agree on deep litter, provided you do not have drainage issues at the site, it'll help control mud and odor. I collect wood chips (preferably chunky and aged), dried leaves, dried grass, garden trimmings and weeds, and toss it in the run. It has a composting effect on the poop and stabilizes the soil beneath.

The rocks and pebbles (I assume added, and not preexisting?) are not ideal and if possible I'd remove as much of that as possible before you add in the new litter. Some is ok, too much is going to cause odor issues as poop filters down between the rocks.
 

Redbud55

Chirping
Jan 1, 2018
34
42
66
After much rain, my run area smells bad too. I use BARN lime, NOT burnt lime. Barn lime is not caustic .They can walk on it and it won’t bother them. Burnt lime can be used to dissolve dead animals! Be sure to use the correct one! I get mine at a feed store.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
4,686
13,676
536
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
If you have already bought the concrete, and insist on using it, I would dig a footer (basically, a trench) where you want your expanded run to be. Fill that with concrete, set the new run on top. Now you've created a concrete barrier to digging predators - no need to bury wire (which I don't much care for for lots of reasons). You've also made a heavy anchor to attach the run to for high wind concerns - though open runs are largely immune to that - there just isn't that much for the wind to push against.

Unfortunately, you've now created, essentially, a pool or bathtub, so it becomes even more important to have a way for water in the run to escape. Make sure you leave some ways for that to happen.

and if you have high moisture content in the ground, unless you set a moisture barrier before pouring the concrete, you will continue to have high moisture content wicking thru to the floor of your run. Your weather patterns locally, if you have hard freeze cycles or clay soils with draught and drench, will create uplift which can crack your concrete too. Fortunately, its just a run, so not important - but if you see lots of cracking over the years, that's what's going on.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom