Mysterious Funk

With all the endless projects we’ve got going on around here, there’s times when our house can become over taken with funk. Sometimes that funk can be mysterious and we have no idea what it’s from; other times it can be pretty obvious and easy to remedy. Like recently for example, we had the baby chicks in a brooder with a heat lamp in the house. For the first week it’s fine; they’re small, don’t eat that much and their brooder can be changed every few days without becoming too smelly. Then once they reach a week old, things start getting a little stinkier, to where the litter needs to be changed once a day. Then, with each day that goes by, they grow bigger, eat more, poop more and by the end of the week… wowzers… no matter how many times a day you change the litter, there’s that never ending, lingering little chick funk. At that point, it’s a sign that the chicks should have been moved out of the house like 5 days ago.


There’s an easy cure for that kinda funk though…


just get them moved out outta the house and into the coop! Aahhh… so much better… more room for them to stretch their wings and the air in the house is breathable once again.

Then there are other kinds of funk that aren’t so easily found. For the last several weeks, every time I went into the kitchen and walked past the counter where the incubator is, I would catch a whiff of a strange, unknown funk. At first I thought we had a rotten egg in the incubator, but whenever I put my nose close to it I didn’t smell anything. I looked around, checked under and beside the refrigerator thinking some food might have fallen beside or gotten kicked under it… nothing. Then I thought it had to be the cat box, so I dumped it and gave it an extra good cleaning before bringing it in. A day later, I caught a whiff of that funk again. I thought maybe it was my chore coat; it hangs on a hook close to the counter where I smelled that funk. It didn’t smell bad but I decided to wash it anyway since it was overdue for a washing. Few days later, the funk was back. I mopped the floor, cleaned out the refrigerator, took out the trash, washed the trash can, and there was still a strange, lingering funk.

I finally convinced myself that it was somehow related to the incubator since I always smelled it the most when I was close to it. I decided I’d just put up with the smell until the eggs hatched, then I’d be sure to have Brooke wash and disinfect it really well. As time went on the funk became less and less.

Just a few days ago, I was searching in the cabinet under the incubator and found this…


Yep… that’s the apple cider vinegar making experiment I was trying. I had completely forgotten about it, as you can see. I guess I’ll have to do more research on making apple cider vinegar and try it again this fall when we harvest our apples.

I may not have successfully made apple cider vinegar but at least I can say I learned something. Apple juice and apple cider vinegar can create quite a strange funk when mixed together and left in a cabinet and forgotten about!

I’m happy to say that my house is funk free… at least for the moment anyway… until another project comes along.

8 thoughts on “Mysterious Funk

  1. Karen Squires

    I get the funk sometimes. It’s usually a loose potato in the bottom of the pantry. But it sure can take a while to figure out what that smell is-:)

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    1. humblelittlehomestead Post author

      Ha! Rotten potato funk is nasty too! It is so aggravating not being able to figure out what it is.

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  2. June

    I have a perpetual cider vinegar funk in my utility room! It’s actually mellowing over time and I’ve gotten used to it. Not sure about chick funk in the house – the coop is close enough!

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    1. humblelittlehomestead Post author

      Ha ha! Have you been making apple cider vinegar a long time? I hope I have better luck next time I make it. Yeah the chick funk in my house was way over due. I had to move chickens out of that coop and clean it out before moving them out. I had a lot of activities going on and couldn’t get it done as soon as I needed. Now that it’s clean and all set up for chicks, we’ll get them moved out faster as they hatch.

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      1. June

        I started my vinegar back in October. I made two big batches. I strained the first one in late December. It was delicious but needed a bit more acidity so I decided to leave the other for a few months. The smell was stronger in the beginning but seems to have mellowed now. We just love the stuff!

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      2. humblelittlehomestead Post author

        That’s good that it mellows out over time! I can’t wait to try it again this fall when we harvest our apples. Hopefully it will work better than using apple juice. I bet your home made stuff is so good! 🙂

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      3. June

        It really is good. And it’s so easy. I sliced the apples with my food processor, put the slices in a bucket and left them overnight to go brown. The next day I covered the apples with water and tied some cheese cloth over the top. After that it’s just patience – the longer you wait the more “bite” it will have. It’s a great way to use windfalls (assuming they’re not riddled with worms.)

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