Owning backyard chickens does not mean your backyard needs to smell like a barnyard. It is possible to keep backyard chickens without putting up with a ripe chicken poop smell after a heavy rainstorm or in the summer heat. Here are three keys for keeping your chicken coop smelling fresh so you and your neighbors remain happy.
Good Coop Roof Ventilation
A good coop roof will keep your chickens dry from rain and snow, and allow humidity and air to vent from the coop's roof vents.
A ventilation opening in your chicken coop is important so that heat can escape your chicken coop in the summer. During the winter, your coop needs a vent to let inside moisture escape to the outside.
As your chickens poop and breathe, they are causing moisture to collect in the air of the coop, and good ventilation will allow the moisture to escape. Moisture in your coop during winter months can cause your chickens to get frostbite on their fleshy, non-feathered skin.
A chicken coop without ventilation will allow the moisture from chicken poop to build up. The smell from the decomposing poop will become stronger as the smell of ammonia collects inside the coop, stinking up your yard. Eventually, one of your neighbors will most likely complain when they smell the stench on a breeze from your yard.
The best way to provide good ventilation is with a ventilation gap below the intersection of the roof's rafters and the outside wall of the coop. This will allow rain to drip off the roof, onto the ground below, without going into your coop, and still let air go in and out of the coop.
When you install your coop roof, either with rafters or framing, leave a three to four-inch gap between the roof and the sides of your coop. The vent will be protected from rain by extending the roof for eight to twelve inches past the coop's exterior wall, as a roof overhang.
Waterproof Chicken Coop Roof
When you are building your coop's roof, make sure the pitch allows snow and ice to melt and run off. A roof pitch of 5:12 or more is a good ratio to keep a waterproof roof. A flat roof can allow water to puddle and snow to pile, causing your roof to become damaged and water to leak into the coop. After rain water or melting snow gets into your coop, the smell from the chicken poop is going to extend out around your backyard coop from the moist manure.
Install your chicken coop roof so that it slopes backward, away from your chicken run. Spread some gravel down behind your chicken coop to help collect any roof runoff. This will help keep down mud inside your chicken run. When a great deal of water mixes with chicken poop and mud, it can create a stinky, soupy manure that will be tracked everywhere your chickens go.
Keep the Coop Clean
In addition to keeping the moisture out of your coop, you should always make sure you coop is clean inside. Your chickens will poop constantly, even when they are laying eggs in the coop. You should make sure that all their poop gets cleaned out every couple of weeks, along with the dirty pine shavings. Then, spread down fresh pine shavings to keep your chickens healthy, their eggs clean, and your yard smelling like it is not full of manure.
Between the bi-weekly coop cleanings, a waterproof, well ventilated coop roof will keep your chickens happy, dry, and smelling good. Your neighbors will stay happy as well when your yard does not smell like stinky chickens.
Be sure to contact All American Roofing Incorporated if you have any questions about installing or ventilating your coop's roof.Share