How to Keep Chicken Coop Smells Fresh

I always thought that chicken is smelly! They poop anywhere and anytime, cover most of your surface backyard where they live in, too. That’s why, usually, people use coops for chicken to live. They have spaces to move around, but still in the limited area that will be easy to clean up. However, it’s not really easy to keep this coop smells fresh since the chicken keep pooping everywhere. But, of course, there is a way on how to keep chicken coop smells fresh.

  • Design of Your Coop

First and foremost, what I think you need to do is to design your coop properly. This coop will be a living place for your chicken flock, not only one, but entire flock. It means, your chicken need a nice space and also, a nice ventilation. This part is also important for you who wants to take care of chicken, but still new about this.

This ventilation is not only good for health, but also to get rid the odors from chicken’s poo. The good thing from the chicken, they don’t get to pee, so their bedding will not get easily damp. Yes, they will poo, but their poo will usually get dry fast, although it’s moist at the first drop. This is the second benefit for a good ventilation.

The air and the sunshine will freely come into your coop, dry up the chicken’s poo even faster. It’s annoying how the poo will be sticky to the floor, but once they dry off, they no longer emerge bad odors.

  • Keep the Coop’s Odor Fresh

Yes, I know I said that when the poo dry off, they don’t smell bad anymore. However, we all know chicken will never stop pooping. It seems that all they do is looking for a food, and dump them into moist droppings. So, we need another damage control to fight the bad odors other than prepare a nice living place.

  • Deep Litter Method

This method is definitely the most controversial way on how to keep chicken coop smells fresh among the chicken farmers. Some farmers may say this method is unsanitary, while the others say it’s still clean despite all the droppings pile. The compost from the litter can act as probiotic and we all know that this probiotic reduces bad odors from your animals.

Well, that’s the deep litter method really means. The methods is really simple. All you have to do is let the litter in your coop accumulates just like that. Eww, gross! Do you think? Let’s read more before you decide.

First of all, of course you start with an empty, clean coop. Then, you will add wood shavings and wood clips, usually farmers use the pine wood shavings. Never use cedar shavings that can be poisonous for your chicken. When your chicken start poo anywhere in the coop, you just let them. After a while, you add 1 inch more of the wood shavings to cover up the pile up poo until they decompose by themselves. This way can save you time to clean up your coop. The ideal time to clean up the compost and start all over again is 1-2 times a year. Save up your precious time and energy, right?

Some of the farmers already proved that this method can be successful if it’s done right. The trick is to keep the balance between the shavings you use for bedding and the compost that’s already piled up. If you find ammonia odor from your coop, it’s your sign to add some more fresh shavings to cover up the compost pile.

If you do it right, you can even find that your coop odorless and fresh. Another benefit for this method is the coop will be warmer for your chicken. As you know, chicken needs to be warm, and this way can help you to take care of those chicken when the winter comes.  Also, your chicken can be healthier since the compost contain the microbes and other beneficial cultures. And you even have compost for your garden!

However, if you live in the urban area and only have small cage for your chicken flock, you might want to be careful using this method. First, you will want to clean up the cage weekly or monthly instead, because the limited area surely have more limited space to ventilate the odor. Remember, don’t throw the droppings pile, you can make a compost out of it!

  • Clean Regularly

Whether you use the deep litter method or not, clean up your coop regularly is a must. Even with the deep litter method, you need to clean up every 6 months or 1 year, right? Without this method, you need to clean your coop every week. Shovel all the droppings and soiled shavings pile and put them into your compost bin.

The advantage to raise chicken is they don’t pee, so the wood shavings usually don’t get damp also. However, the chicken’s droppings start off with moist stuff before they get dry. It means, some of the droppings will get sticky to the coop’s floor, leave a stubborn stain. To clean this, you need to brush the floor. Instead using a dangerous bleaching, you can mix the vinegar with the water and use it to clean the coop’s floor.

Clean and ventilated coop can get rid the stress from your chicken, too. It’s important since stress can cause the deadly disease, like fowl cholera or attract eye worms in chicken.

  • Use Agricultural Lime

I actually misunderstood about this lime and thought what it means is one kind of fruit. Actually, the lime that I want to discuss here, is made from crushed limestone. This crushed limestone can neutralize soil pH and eliminate odors. So, it’s good to fight bad odors that might arise from your coop.

The use of this lime is also easy. As usual, you clean your coop thoroughly and use the mix of vinegar and water as the disinfectant in your coop. After that, you can sprinkle the light coating of this lime under the bedding to reduce the odor. Whenever you clean up the coop, you can add this coating again to keep your coop smells fresh.

  • Plant Herbs and Fresh Flower Around the Coop

Herbs and flowers have nice smell, don’t they? They’re fresh and comforting, very suitable to use to fight bad odors. Even you already clean the coop regularly, once your chicken gets poop again, it will start to smell. To fight this, whether it’s just slightly smell, you can plant the herbs and/or fresh flowers near your coop.

Of course, you need to choose the right herbs that have a nice and rather strong scent. They can be basil, mint, lavender, thyme, or rosemary. All of them smell really fresh, right? And you know, lavender is famous to get rid of mosquitoes and flies, too. The same applies with flowers, you can choose anything with the smell that you love.

Also, with the garden, you can make the compost useful, so nothing in your backyard will really put into waste. How to keep chicken coop smells fresh can be quite easy if you’re consistent in doing it. Don’t let your chicken get stressed out of the smelly coop!