Neighbors with chickens- the good, the bad and the smell

Hello, we recently moved into a house next to some lovely neighbors. They welcomed us with a bottle of sparkling wine, were super friendly and nice. 
Now I’m staring to think this was because after a month or so they got chickens, a dozen of them, in a coop next to our fence. I have nothing against the chickens per se, they are funny, I enjoy the clucking and we sometimes get nice fresh eggs. 
There is a huge but - of course - and it is the SMELL. I sometimes cannot even open my home office window as the smell is so terrible. Our side yard is full of huge flies and even opening our front door brings you a rush of quite disgusting chicken smell. I need to hold my breath to bring out the trash to the bins. 
I do not want to have issues with my nice neighbors so two questions:

1) are there smell management techniques our neighbors can do to mitigate this horrible smell?

2) how can I broach this with my neighbors in a friendly non confrontational way?

Thanks in advance!

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We are the neighbors with chickens.  Only four, in our case.  And they are noisy and potentially smelly.

One way of keeping down the smell is making sure they have plenty of shredded-pine bedding.  That is, a layer at least two or three inches deep in the coop, which should get replaced weekly. The bedding dries out the poop, which keeps down the smell.  If there is a strong smell, there may be ammonia coming from wet, decomposing poop, which in turn can damage chicken lungs.  Straw or hay can cause problems because it gets moldy and doesn't absorb water as well.  There has to be enough bedding to completely desiccate the poop.

Some people use the deep-bedding method, which entails a 6-12" layer of bedding that is allowed to compost in place and gets changed a couple of times per year.

We use shredded pine in the coop, and about 6" of shredded cedar or redwood bark in the run -- the shredded bark comes from American Soil and Stone in Richmond, and they call it "gorilla hair" because it's very fibrous.  We don't clean out the run as often as the coop, so it's more-or-less a deep bedding system there.

It's important for the birds' health and the smells that they have enough space -- twelve chickens are a lot.  They need a minimum of four square feet per bird in the coop, plus ten square feet per bird in the run.  The coop has to be very well ventilated, with a minimum of one square foot of screened opening per bird, preferably arranged for cross-ventilation.  Around here we don't have to worry about it being too cold at night -- we don't heat our coop or run, even with all that open screening.

Of course, somebody has to clean out the coop and run regularly, including in the pouring rain.

Finally, while pesticides are not great for chickens, sticky fly strips well above the chickens' reach can help.

i have chickens, seven in my back yard. sure does their chicken poop stink? sure when it’s fresh and i’m near it. my coop however does NOT stink. you neighbors are not doing things right.

possibly too many birds in too small a space. just lazy animal husbandry, which is very bad for bird health also. not using deep litter method (pine shavings that self compost with poop) and doesn’t stink unless you let it get disgusting. there are ways to mitigate flies… diatomaceous earth, fly predators, fly traps, keeping coop cleaned properly.

also, you say their coop is right next to the fence?  i’m my town of alameda, coop has to be 3-4 feet off the fence and i believe 20 or 30’ from any neighboring dwelling.

this would piss me off and i HAVE chickens. ugh. i’d start by learning your city’s rules for backyard flick keeping and move from there.

First of all, that’s a lot of chickens! We have three and used to have four. My wife goes into the coop once a week and clears all the poop, changes their water, and fills up their food. They are a LOT of maintenance. Our neighbors once complained about the number of flies that were increasing in numbers. That’s when my wife got seriously into cleaning. And it’s made a big difference. In the coop we use construction sand. That’s a must. It absorbs a lot of the mess. In addition, Sweet PDZ Granules. It’s for horses, but is excellent for eliminating odors. I’d say just be honest and share some of these tips. They may not be completely aware of how bad it smells. They should never use hay because it molds easily and could lead to respiratory problems for the hens.