How to Fix a Stinky Coop

We love our chickens, but sometimes, things can get a little stinky. Chicken coops can get smelly, which can be upsetting to both you and your chickens. Thankfully, there are ways for you to reduce coop odors. Read on to learn more:

What causes coop odors?chickens in a chicken coop

Before we get into how to fix a stinky coop, it’s best we cover what causes those smells in the first place. Many people blame chicken poop, but in reality, the culprit is ammonia. This colorless gas is made up of hydrogen and nitrogen, and it can often develop in chicken coops. It has a pungent smell similar to vinegar, but its bad smell isn’t the only concern. High ammonia levels can also impact the health of your birds and yourself.

How to reduce coop odors

A stinky chicken coop is no one’s idea of fun, but thankfully, there are many ways to resolve it.

Eliminate moisture

When moisture builds up inside your coop, it can contribute to ammonia odors and cause bacteria, parasites, and mold to thrive. All of these factors combine to create a very smelly coop. A dry coop, meanwhile, is not only comfortable, but also odor-free. So, the first steps to reduce odors should be to reduce moisture inside the coop. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Replace damp bedding regularly
  • Use the deep litter method
  • Repair leaks in the coop roof
  • Provide good ventilation (see below)

Provide good air ventilation

Good ventilation will not only keep moisture at bay, but it will also help filter out old, stinky air with new, fresh air. To do so, install a box fan to keep the air circulating in your coop. You can also open up a few windows providing the outside air is warm enough.

Clean your coop regularly

Simply put, clean things are less likely to produce odors. If you’re not cleaning your coop regularly, then dirt and bacteria will grow, creating foul-smelling odors. Replacing nesting box material frequently and be sure to clean up any chicken poop. You can read our past blog post on how to keep your coop clean for more tips.

Use fresh herbs and rose petals

Fresh herbs and petals can make any area smell sweet. Plus, your chickens can use them as tasty treats whenever they get hungry. Place herbs and petals in their nesting boxes and sleeping areas to best combat smells.

Keep flies at bay

Some bugs are welcome in a chicken coop. After all, they can become delectable snacks for your chickens. Flies, however, are not. Make sure you’re regularly cleaning your chickens’ litter packs and using a quality fly repellant to keep these annoying insects at bay.

Choose the right feed

The type of feed your chickens eat can impact how smelly their feces become. While ammonia is one of the main culprits of a stinky coop, chicken feces also play an active role. This is largely caused by undigested feed which makes their feces smell worse. You can avoid this by choosing feeds with certain plant extracts and essential oils. Feed with saponins or phytogens are easily digestible, as are ones that are lower in crude protein.

For more tips on how to care for your backyard flock, read through our blog or contact Chickens for Backyards today.