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Old 03-10-2013, 05:09 PM   #21
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My hens covered outside pen was getting pretty stinky so I raked it all out and put down a fresh bail of straw...that did the trick! It should be OK for another month. Their house that I lock them in every night I clean out every 4th day. I use pine chips and they smell really good! The girls just love it! They told me so... Jen



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Old 06-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #22
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When we revamped the chicken pen, after we moved the chickens to temporary quarters, I shook a lot of lime all over the dirt of the old outside pen. I probably got a little heavy handed but the spring in OK had been VERY wet and the mud was VERY deep and filled with all kinds of VERY bad things that like it wet and warm and muddy and it stunk! Afterward, we covered the whole outside area with gravel and rebuilt the pens. I bleached the walls inside of the one communal chicken house and left it open to the sun and wind. The big house still has gravel floors but I will put down several bags of bedding (buy stock in Tractor Supply now!) before the Favorelle girls go back in. The new smaller coops (Americanas, Cochins and Welsummers) have linoleum floors which will have litter put down. In the fall, I'll add leaves and twigs, but right now there isn't much. Thank heavens we planted all those oak trees 20 years ago! I have used the horse stall deodorizers, too with grateful success. Like on the ducks and geese night pen. Ugh. I have used deodorizer on my chick brooder floor when I brooded in the house and needed it not to stink like chickens. The big thing with all chemicals if to use in moderation. More doesn't mean better control. And then let it sit and air for a few days. Good ole sunlight is still the cheapest, easiest way to deodorize and sanitize. I know hens like it dark and private to nest, but that equals a perfect place for bad things to grow (and snakes to hide---eek!) so I made it clear to my girls they would have to make due with nest tubs instead. Easier to clean, too. Clean equals no smell. Make it easy to keep that way is my motto.



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Old 06-27-2013, 10:44 AM   #23
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I feed fermented feed, so the chicken poop doesn't smell like much anymore and it doesn't attract flies any longer. You can put your nose right down to it and barely catch a whiff of anything resembling poop. I'm so loving this FF!!! Even when I had 54 broilers in this coop you couldn't smell a thing and no flies were around in 98* heat and high humidity. My ol' Ma was amazed...that sure wasn't how chickens smelled in her day!

Then I use deep litter that doesn't ever get cleaned out, just added to and it composts in place which absorbs all the nitrogenous droppings and sort of digests them into the soils below. You can pick up a handful of my bedding and not smell much but dirt.

I use leaves, pine needles, pine shavings, small twigs and anything else that gets raked up in the yard...you can find deer bones, possum teeth, deer hair, feathers and an old turtle shell all buried in this compost. This coop consumed 4 32 gal. trash cans of compressed leaves this winter, plus several piles raked into the coop in the fall and hay residue, pine shavings, etc. The bedding is currently only 6-8 in. deep...the composting is working right along.

I don't use DE or any such in the coop as I don't want to kill any beneficial, predatory bugs that prey upon parasites and their larvae. The composted bedding is a great place to breed your own mite and lice control.

I also have a coop with tons of ventilation...you really can't ever have enough ventilation. I have an open air cattle panel hoop coop, so the air does flow!

My chooks have been living in this coop in its present location since last Oct and the bedding is the original bedding that has been built upon and you can't tell that chickens live there. No smells, no flies.

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee
I feed fermented feed, so the chicken poop doesn't smell like much anymore and it doesn't attract flies any longer. You can put your nose right down to it and barely catch a whiff of anything resembling poop. I'm so loving this FF!!! Even when I had 54 broilers in this coop you couldn't smell a thing and no flies were around in 98* heat and high humidity. My ol' Ma was amazed...that sure wasn't how chickens smelled in her day!

Then I use deep litter that doesn't ever get cleaned out, just added to and it composts in place which absorbs all the nitrogenous droppings and sort of digests them into the soils below. You can pick up a handful of my bedding and not smell much but dirt.

I use leaves, pine needles, pine shavings, small twigs and anything else that gets raked up in the yard...you can find deer bones, possum teeth, deer hair, feathers and an old turtle shell all buried in this compost. This coop consumed 4 32 gal. trash cans of compressed leaves this winter, plus several piles raked into the coop in the fall and hay residue, pine shavings, etc. The bedding is currently only 6-8 in. deep...the composting is working right along.

I don't use DE or any such in the coop as I don't want to kill any beneficial, predatory bugs that prey upon parasites and their larvae. The composted bedding is a great place to breed your own mite and lice control.

I also have a coop with tons of ventilation...you really can't ever have enough ventilation. I have an open air cattle panel hoop coop, so the air does flow!

My chooks have been living in this coop in its present location since last Oct and the bedding is the original bedding that has been built upon and you can't tell that chickens live there. No smells, no flies.
Bee, could you please post some pics of your coop?
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #25
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You can find pics of it in the large coop section of "chicken coops". Do you want pics of the inside and the bedding or just the coop? The newly built coop pics are in that section but I can also show pics of deep litter as well.

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee
You can find pics of it in the large coop section of "chicken coops". Do you want pics of the inside and the bedding or just the coop? The newly built coop pics are in that section but I can also show pics of deep litter as well.
Ok thanks. I was interested in your bedding.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:25 PM   #27
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Just checked out your coop. Looks great. You can see ours in the large coop section. It is under greenfield12. (My husband put it on)

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:33 PM   #28
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I'll try to show some pics of the bedding, though I have none specifically of the bedding but you can see it in the pics of various birds. My bedding transforms with the seasons, so you will see some pics with more pine shavings, some with more leaves, some with a good mix of both.....





Here's a pic of a pile of leaves raked into the coop in the fall....



I don't have any current pics of the bedding but I will try to go and take some today...should be a good time to show it during all this wet season...we've had rain every day for 2-3 wks it seems.

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Old 07-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #29
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Here is a pic of the bedding today...now, keep in mind that this is a soil floor coop sitting at the bottom of a hill. We have had weeks of torrential rains and storms and it rained last night as well.

Here's the bedding when undisturbed by me and this is directly under the roosts...



And here's a pic of when I lift up two big pitchfork full of bedding and put it to one side....you can see the moisture lies below and the smell is much like the forest floor or good compost. Earthy..like dirt.



And you can also see some dampness in the corners of the coop where the chickens have been digging for bugs and worms that move upward in the bedding when the bottom layers are too moist..then the chooks nab them!



Bedding in the nest boxes consists of leaves, hay, cedar and pine shavings, etc.

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Old 07-11-2013, 06:21 PM   #30
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Thanks bee! It never occurred to me to put all of that in the coop. The bottom of our coop is an old 8x8 raft, so it's off the ground. I think I will put some leaves in there in the fall. We have had tons of rain this year as well. Are you in New England?



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