When we have animals around us, bad odors will follow us. They care about hygiene, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that their standards don’t go with us, human. We’re different species, anyway. There are animals that you can teach to poo in the right place, like dogs, but not all animals do that. Poultry animals are kind of animals who just drop their poo anywhere. That’s why they bring you bad odors and you need to find out these 7 steps to eliminate bad odor in your poultry.
Odor Control’s Basics
The main point of odor control is not just about us, the owner. It’s also about our neighborhood and anyone that can smell them. So, the basic things about odor control that you need to consider actually :
- How the compounds are formed
- How the odorous compounds release to the atmosphere
- How they transport to the receptor site
Understanding those 3 basic things can make you understand what to do when to control the odors from your poultry coop. Now, you can break them down into these 7 steps to eliminate bad odor in your poultry.
1. Prepare proper Ventilation
Always, if you want to keep your living place free from bad odors is proper ventilation. Even our house needs good air circulation, otherwise the bad odors will emerge and disturb us. Even though we already have our own dump mechanism in our toilet. So, of course, animals need proper ventilation for clean and comfortable cage, too. For instance, rabbits really need comfortable cage since they can get easily stressed out. As well as chicken.
When you want to start your own farm, whether it’s cattle farm or chicken farm, you need to plan the living place carefully. As you do so, you need to prepare proper ventilation that encourage good air circulation. Nowadays, chicken farmers like mechanical ventilation more, since the mechanical ventilation is easier to control. You can control the temperature and airflow in the coop. However, natural ventilation can be used too, but you need to think carefully the solution when there is no wind or when you face the winter.
2. Check out your coop regularly
In the chicken coop, there are facilities you give to your chicken, simply like food, water, and bedding. As simple as it is, these things can be a source of bad odors. For instance, if the water leaks out and make the bedding wet, your chicken coop will get easier to have a bad smell. So, you need to check the coop regularly to ensure all the facilities inside the coop are working properly.
If you find the wet bedding, you need to get rid of them immediately. You know wood shavings have pores where the water can spread easy and it’s definitely make your coop smell. After that, you need to check where the water comes from and handle them immediately.
3. Controlling the dust
We know that chicken like to do bath dust, right? It can make them clean and free from parasites. However, it doesn’t mean all dust is good for your chicken. There are dust that comes from the feed, manure and the animals themselves. This is not very hygienic and can disturb, not only your health, but also your animals.
Controlling the dust seem hard to do, since the dust itself comes from natural surrounding, often from the ventilation we prepare in the coop. But, you can manage to avoid them. First of all, clean up the interior of the coop really helps to reduce the dust amount. You can also add some bleaching to disinfect the coop, or a mix white cider vinegar with water, if you like natural treatment better.
Then, you can also apply some oil to dry rations. This treatment can reduce the amounts of dust in a building. Maintaining the relative humidity in poultry houses can also avoid the dust come into your coop. Of course, it can be easily done by mechanical ventilation.
4. Managing chicken manure
The good thing about chicken’s poo are they can decompose and become manure for your garden. But, you also know that the manure can be a source of a bad odor. That’s why, managing these manures from chicken’s litter become one of the important things from the 7 steps to eliminate bad odor in your poultry.
Firstly, you need to incorporate the manure into soil regularly, and as soon as possible. You can put the chicken’s poo into the compost bin regularly and once they decompose, just put it in the soil. It’s good for your soil fertility. If you intend to apply this manure on your garden or your farm, you can do it in the morning in sunny days. It will help to reduce the bad odor. And, of course, you also need to consider the effect on your neighbor, so understand the downwind when you apply them.
5. Remove the carcasses immediately
You must want your chicken live healthily always, but living things will be dead somehow and some time. So, even though you take care your chicken very carefully, they can still be dead. That’s why you need to check your coop regularly to see whether there are carcasses inside. If you found one, you need to bury them immediately to avoid the smell.
You can bury them in sawdust or some other organic composting material. They can help to decompose carcasses buried down even faster.
6. Clean the coop
Like I said earlier, you need to clean the coop regularly, at least weekly. You can simply hose the shavings that’s already mixed up with the chicken poo, and put them in the compost bin. Don’t just throw it away, they’re really useful for your soil.
Make sure you always brush the sticky poo on the coop’s floor until it cleaned up. To disinfect your coop’s floor, you can add some bleaching. However, some farmers don’t like that kind of way since it can be harmful for the chicken. As an alternatives, a mix of white cider vinegar with water can also disinfect the floor. To keep the chicken coop smells fresh, you can sprinkle agricultural lime before you put in the fresh bedding in your coop.
Cleaning the coop can also the best way to prevent sick chicken, so it can save up your time.
7. Adding chemical or biological additives
Chemical and biological additives can also neutralize odors by raising pH of the manures. One of the natural additives that can help to eliminate the odors of manure is fly ash. It has been tested as a stabilizing agent that can neutralize the odors.When you apply the fly ashes into your chicken manure, they will raise pH of the manure to 12 where all microbial activity ceases and sulphur compounds are fixed. Other natural additives that you can use is the lime since it can raise pH of the manure also.
You can also put Yucca schidigera, some kind of plants that live in Mojave desert, Chihuahuan Desert and Sonoran Desert, into your chicken feed. This plants apparently also good for cat’s food and dog’s food also. Thymol and carvacrol are essential oils that also can effectively control the odors as well as natural zeolite and clinoptilotile (an ammonium-selective zeolite).
If you follow basic’s odor control, the next best thing that you must do is to learn the downwind of your area, so any odor emerges from your poultry coop stay away from your neighbor. Of course, I think we will discuss it in another topic.