White Powery stuff coating everything inside the coop...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jennevive, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Jennevive

    Jennevive New Egg

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    I am a new chicken owner. We got our chicks in September (6 Buff Orpingtons and 4 Easter Eggers) and they have done very well with no issues. We built our own coop using bathboard for the walls, ceiling and flooring so that it can easily be sprayed out if necessary. Also good because the runnier poops don't stick as badly to it and they are easy to get unstuck.

    But I digress. We use compressed pine shavings for the floor of the coop and straw in the newly completed next boxes (hopefully eggs soon!) However, ever since we moved them to their new home there is a white powdery "dust" that coats everything. It happened to stuff in the garage when they were in there and I thought it was just from the pine shavings getting stirred up all the time but my husband is concerned it is something else and wanted me to find out more.

    I have been unable to find anything on the net or on these forums about it so thought I would start a thread to pick all your wonderful brains and experience!

    Thanks,
    Jennevive
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Do you have pictures?
    My best guess is its keratin shedding from the chickens.
    Chickens are very dusty and anywhere they are kept usually gets a layer of dust.

    Here's an article by Terri Golson of The HenCam (with pictures), if it something similar to this, it is what we all have to deal with[​IMG]

    http://hencam.com/henblog/2014/04/a-thorough-coop-cleaning/
     
  3. Jennevive

    Jennevive New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2016
    THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!!

    That is EXACTLY what I am dealing with! Excellent to know it is just part of the deal and not some other problem. I am happier than ever that we built our coop designed to make it easy to clean with water. Now to just get things warm enough! One lone brave boy came out this morning after the 2 + feet of snow the past two days, in the 20 degree weather and only AFTER I had shoveled and put out food and scratch for them. :). I tried to post a picture but I don't have permissions for that. :(

    Thank you again,
    Jennevive
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I'm going to advance the idea that if you have that much dander build up, you don't have near enough ventilation in your coop. Especially if your birds are self-confined due to weather. they're breathing that nastiness in all day long, it's not any better for their lungs than for yours [​IMG]. I'd look into adding some vents to get some air circulation going through the coop and move that out. Fresh air is vital for animals, even frigid cold fresh air.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do your chickens have a dust bath? We use a lot of wood ash in ours, many times the hens come into the coop covered in ash and shake-off causing ash to fly everywhere.
     
  6. Jennevive

    Jennevive New Egg

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    We thought there was enough ventilation but your points are well made and I will let my husband know. He may want to put in a small fan in a vent to pull the stuff out. Do you think there would be a problem with that?

    -Jennevive
     
  7. Jennevive

    Jennevive New Egg

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    They have had good access to dirt in their run and I have seen them using it for dust baths. Plus we have just started free ranging them and I have watched as they take baths all kinds of places! :D. That may contribute to the problem in the future and I will have to keep an eye on the accumulation levels. Since it has happened to one degree or another since they were chicks in our garage I think it is more likely the keratin issue that Wyorp Rock described and linked to. The pictures looked much the same but our coating is much thinner...just a fine dust. Like a house that has been empty for a month or so.

    This is awesome to get so much great feedback!

    -Jennevive
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I forgot to add WELCOME! [​IMG]

    I have ash in my run as well. They love it.
    A large portion is all under roof and stays dry, but of course those stinkin' chickens just had to stand in the uncovered portion in the rain. They were just dripping wet, then all pile into a dust bathing spot with ash and dirt, they look quite the site[​IMG] Gotta love 'em.
    They look better after much preening, but there are still some sooty looking bits, which will probably come off tomorrow after another dust bath.[​IMG]

    Yes, post pictures when you can, we all love pictures!

    @donrae has made a great suggestion on checking your ventilation. It really is that important even in winter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nah......I have a ton of ventilation and a coating of dust on everything that doesn't get moved or touched regularly.
    Unless you actively exhaust air from coop, dust is going to build up....from dander, shavings and other 'dirt'.

    RonP uses a leaf blower to positively pressurize the coop then stirs things up inside (with another leaf blower) to exhaust dust out of his coop.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Interesting aart. I've read about using a leaf blower. Does RonP have an article?
    I usually just use a heavy duty wet/dry vac to get most of the dust and cobwebs out. Wearing a respirator of course[​IMG]

    Edited, never mind I found his article[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016

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