View Full Version : Your trick/ideas/expert solution for an odor free barn?

Aug. 13, 2011, 12:00 PM
What is it?

Pine Sol?
Stall refresher?
Type of bedding?
Fans? Windows open?
Manure management?

For the barn in general, not just the stalls, because stinky riding pads and blankets are...ewwww

As for boarding barns, how do you deal with boarders?

Aug. 13, 2011, 12:26 PM
I keep my barn odor free by:

*stall mats with excellent drainage underneath
*Woody Pet bedding...used deep. Shallow bedding just allows urine to pool. And stink.
*Stalls cleaned well and often. If the horses are in for the day due to nasty weather, stalls picked more than once.
*buckets and where they get their feed cleaned daily. With water, Listerine and a brush. Otherwise both will build a film over a short time and that smells. And attracts flies. And mice.
*Barn swept and kept cobweb free daily. All feeds in sealed, rodent proof containers. Mice stink, as does the dust that gets caught in cobwebs. (smells musty)
*Blankets not in use are washed, dried and stored in large plastic bins. Saddle pads; I have extras of each type. After use the sweaty one gets rinsed with a power sprayer on the hose and hung to dry. The back-ups are kept in a large plastic bin. So when wet pad is drying, there's a dry one to use. Once a week they go in the washer.
*I never keep manure in an uncovered wheelbarrow in the barn. That never made sense to me, to clean a stall and then just relocate the manure somewhere else in the barn. If I only pick a few piles out, the wheelbarrow gets parked and I have a plywood "lid" I put on top. No smells and no flies.
*Barn is 24x40. 4 stalls. There are 6 windows (1 in each stall and 2 in the front aisle) and the double doors. A full ridge vent, 2 eave vents. And in summer I have 2 roof-mounted vent fans that suck air through the barn and out through the roof. Cools things off, removes hot air near the beams and cooler, moving air doesn't hold any stink. Each stall has a fan also, blowing on the horses. In winter, even if the barn is closed up in a blizzard the ridge and eave vents keep it fresh smelling in there without drafts or wet coming in. A wet/damp barn stinks, as does a fully closed barn without any air circulation.
*I don't deal with boarders. Horse people are nuts. :winkgrin:

Aug. 13, 2011, 12:53 PM
Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation.

My big barn doors are almost NEVER closed between April and December, the Dutch doors are always open, all the windows except the weather-facing ones are open except in deep winter, and the soffits are wide open as well. Even my stall fronts were built with 1.5" gaps between the lower boards (on purpose) to improve air movement.

It's pretty breezy in there. :) Is it cold in the winter? Lord, yes! But the air is fresh and clean and no stinkage.

When horses are inside by force or by choice (stall rest, foul winter weather) I deal with the stinky wet spot by stripping back the bedding once a week and using some Pine Sol on the wet spot. Other than that, there's nothing TO stink in my barn. Wet, nasty saddle pads are WASHED. Winter blankets certainly do get gross by late February--they are packed off to Equine Laundry to be cleaned as soon as the winter is over. But my horses are OUTSIDE in their dirty, stinky blankets. :)

Almost Heaven
Aug. 13, 2011, 11:07 PM
Don't put horses in it.

Aug. 13, 2011, 11:22 PM
Don't put horses in it.


How about a boys basketball team? :winkgrin:

Aug. 14, 2011, 12:55 AM
KOE (Kennel Odor Eliminator). I use it mixed in a pump up sprayer, and it kills any smell. Before I bought my place, the barn was filled with chickens....and even after much cleaning and powerwashing (3 times), the smell lingered. One spray with KOE, and presto! no more smell. And it's dirt cheap....1/4 oz. in one gallon of water, and that goes a long, long way.

Aug. 14, 2011, 04:41 AM

How about a boys basketball team? :winkgrin:

Those would require dry cleaning and Febreeze. :lol:

Thanks so far for sharing your ways of doing!

Aug. 14, 2011, 02:24 PM
I have only completely closed up my barn 3 times in almost five years. I keep the end barn doors open, and there are doors to the outside runs that are always open. I clean the stalls every day, use Sweet PDZ on the urine spots, then bed with pine shavings. My horses don't poop in their stalls, bless them, but out in the runs or in the turnout. In the summer they stay out all night, then in the day it's their choice where they snooze, so they often come into their stalls in the heat of the day. I've never had an odor problem, but I only have two horses at home now, so admittedly it's not the same as those of you with lots of horses and their related smells!

Aug. 17, 2011, 04:46 PM
What about if you don't have good air flow?

Three horses in the barn that go out most of the day till late night..one window..two dutch doors (one on each side of the narrow aisle). Roomy stalls though. It stinks...is there anything I can do?

Stalls are cleaned out everyday and no poop is in the barn but still a lingering poop smell. It maybe because my mare like to poop on the wall and it's leaves a streak behind. It's hard to get off because it's cinderblock. Any ideas?

Aug. 17, 2011, 05:52 PM
What about if you don't have good air flow?

Add an exhaust fan or a roof fan if possible.

Aug. 18, 2011, 04:09 PM
Don't put horses in it.

:D:D:D:D Why didn't I think of that????????????

Aug. 18, 2011, 07:09 PM
I've recently used Odor No More with good results. It IS a bit pricey, but it eliminates any ammonia smell and keeps the stall dryer. Thankfully, my horse is out in his paddock around 18 hours/day, but he always goes into his stall to pee (his barn is surrounded by a paddock, so he gets free run of both for all nut about 6 hours/day).

Aug. 22, 2011, 04:44 PM
What about if you don't have good air flow?

Stalls are cleaned out everyday and no poop is in the barn but still a lingering poop smell. It maybe because my mare like to poop on the wall and it's leaves a streak behind. It's hard to get off because it's cinderblock. Any ideas?

Get good fans for summer. I have a block barn and I love it! Is it painted? I just get it wet, and get a commercial, 2 gallon bleach sprayer and spray full strength bleach on the spots, let it sit a bit, hose it off. If its bad, repeat and scrub it a little. Easy! A regular garden sprayer can not handle bleach, it will clog up and break.

Aug. 22, 2011, 05:04 PM
Yup it's painted white (ugg it looks great with poop smears and butt rub marks..genius idea). I will try the bleach. It's looking really gross and my mare hasn't even been here that long.

Aug. 23, 2011, 11:02 AM

Amazing what a difference they make!

Aug. 29, 2011, 12:35 PM

Amazing what a difference they make!

Chickens? Why for?

There is a chicken farm nearby where I live and it smells way worse than any stable I've ever been to.:yes:

Aug. 29, 2011, 01:27 PM
Cleanliness and fresh air. Sprays just mask uncleanliness!!
...And leaving the horses out!!

Aug. 29, 2011, 01:52 PM
Not sure if you have a wash stall or not - but sometimes I get a offensive smell from the wash stall .. I started to pour some amonia or bleech (not both at the same time though!!) on the rubber mats after I spray cleaned it. I assume the smell was coming from beneath the mats since they sit on concrete. I was right - It does not smell anymore since I started doing that.

Aug. 30, 2011, 04:17 PM
Lime, lime, and more lime. Seriously, it's a great tool to keep odours down. When you clean a stall down to the floor/mats, sprinkle lime powder on top, leave it to air out, sweep up any non-absorbed lime, and re-bed. It has low-toxicity (it's used in re-breather air tanks for scuba divers), discourages fungi, and takes away all the nasty ammonia smell from urine. In our barn, we'll turn all the horses out, clean down to the floor (banking good bedding along the walls), put lime down, and leave all the doors/windows open while the barn is empty. Smells fresh as a daisy (or, as close to a daisy as any building inhabited by giant animals who freely poop all over their beds).

Aug. 30, 2011, 04:34 PM
Could be you are not cleaning out the " pee hole" enough. Most horses may poop all over the stall but most of them pee in the same spot all the time. If you can get it cleaned down to the dirt every time and refill with dirt/ gravel ( whatever, as needed) as well as letting it dry before re-bedding it will help. Keeping the air flowing is important too. Closing up the barn in fear of drafts or cold is doing them no favors. Breathing in bad air will hurt them over the long haul.

As said above the best remedy is to let them out.

Aug. 30, 2011, 07:31 PM
Horses outside a lot. Pee shoveled out, scraped and stall dry-ed. Cobwebs down, clean out the wash stall drain regularly (it stinks) and clean tack (leather smells awesome). Make sure dogs/cats aren't peeing in the barn, and no rotting apples/carrots. Don't leave full wheelbarrows in the barn (never understood that) and dump/wash muck buckets in the crossties every day. Wheelbarrows are power washed every morning after stalls are cleaned. Scrub water buckets/auto waters and grain buckets regularly.

With the boarders, be diligent with them. We don't allow anything to be washed down our drains except soap/water (one boarder would wash everything down the drain instead of sweeping), make sure their dogs aren't peeing in the barn, lockers are clean (no food/really dirty saddlepads) and they store and wash their blankets.

Aug. 30, 2011, 08:51 PM
What about if you don't have good air flow?

Three horses in the barn that go out most of the day till late night..one window..two dutch doors (one on each side of the narrow aisle). Roomy stalls though. It stinks...is there anything I can do?

Stalls are cleaned out everyday and no poop is in the barn but still a lingering poop smell. It maybe because my mare like to poop on the wall and it's leaves a streak behind. It's hard to get off because it's cinderblock. Any ideas?

Add windows. And before you say "she's nuts" give me a second to explain. I bought 10 windows (glass and frames) for $200 at the ReStore that is local to me. They weren't all the same size exactly but for a barn (or shed in my case) it was perfect. I installed them and now have a wall of light when I want to work in there.

Keep the barn clean, and ventilate ventilate ventilate. Add fans to help with airflow.

Sep. 1, 2011, 06:03 AM
Properly cleaned tack should not emit stank into the air. Either you have a very sensitive nose or it's time to throw saddle pads into the washer.

The main source of odor in barns is the horse (and associated bedding, spilled food/water). My answer is lots of turn-out so he's not in all day peeing up the place. If you're designing the barn, my advice is to plan for alot of ventilation. I <3 my dutch doors, and I should have put them on both sides of every stall.

I'd say the #2 source of odor is dogs/cats (especially un-neutered) who are allowed to roam free. Fix all the cats! You don't need spraying. Don't let dogs run unsupervised, as some will see the stalls as big doggy potties.

Address any sources where moisture collects and doesn't dry, to avoid a musty odor and mold problems. For example, keep an eye on a busy wash stall for signs of mildew build up. Keep hay in a well ventilated area and don't let old hay build up over the year. Make sure drainage/grading around the barn doesn't encourage stinky water to creep in.

I don't know how you're going to control what your boarder's tack smells like. You'll have to be a little tolerant of other people. Some people like that "worn by a horse" smell that tack gets, and they don't like being told their tack stinks.

Sep. 2, 2011, 10:54 AM
As for pee spots, my fave odor eliminator is plain 'ole white vinegar! Just pour some on the wet spot on the stall mat, rub with foot and/or other object, scrape up as much yucky shavings as possible, and let air dry. Viola! No more ammonia smell. :-)

Lady Counselor
Sep. 2, 2011, 02:08 PM
Lots of air and light.
Matted stalls and alleyway.
I use Creolin about once a week in the stalls, strip them back and bank, then mix Creolin with water, sprinkle with a watering can. It smells wretched at first, very chemically (don't get it on you) Leave it to dry and air for the day and pull your bedding back. Then entire barn smells so much fresher when it's done. Otherwise, on a daily or every other day basis, I use Pinesol in water, sprinkle it on and recover.

Remove cobwebs and dust. Clean and cover tack. Nothing smells better than clean leather saddles. :yes:

Big door open all day, back doors to stalls too. At night, big door closed (keep critters out) and upper doors left open. I have no smell, minimal respiratory issues with the horses.

If I didn't have mats in the stalls, I would use lime everyday.

Sep. 2, 2011, 06:35 PM
Cats will pee and poop in loose hay so it is important to keep your hay loft swept and any other place clean you don't want the going in like the tack room. That's the biggest problem I have had.

Sep. 2, 2011, 09:35 PM
I tried the Listerine to scrub buckets yesterday as someone else had suggested, quite minty fresh!!