All these stories I've read of chick dust are scaring me! =O

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fluffpuffgerbil, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. I don't have my chicks yet, but now I'm reading about chick dust and might have to rethink having the babies in my room unless I want to clean all my other animal cages and racks and my own bed of dust everyday.

    I've got a few questions about this.

    First of all, only getting 6-8 chicks. They'll still be dusty I understand, but hopefully not as bad as having 10 or more. My brooder is over 2'x3' and about 2' tall.(Pack n Play crib)

    Both 3' sides can have the mesh open, but one side has a flap which I closed already. The other side or even both sides could be covered with cardboard or blankets. And the top could be covered half way or something with a blanket to keep some dust down and the open half will have the heat lamp.

    What bedding cuts down dust the most? I don't want to use pine or cedar, and I hear wood pellets can add to the dust. I was going to use aspen shavings over newspaper, but after I put the aspen down, for the first few days/week should I have paper towels over the wood shavings?

    Also, I have an air purifier in my room running 24/7 to cut down on dust from rats, who are also dusty at times. I might have to change the filter in it before I get the chicks, but I figured I could move the purifier closer to the brooder to also help cut down on dust.

    We don't have an ideal outside place to brood them since kitty cat is in the garage and it's drafty and cold upstairs in the storage room(and they'd have a lot less interaction and changing food and water would be a pain having to walk up and down a long flight of stairs everyday to access them and ugh) so if I'll be dealing with dust from 6-8 chickies, I guess I have to ask myself: Sweep or vacuum? xD

  2. So my mom said we could put them in the living room if we needed to, the only problem with that is cats. I put a sheet over the exposed mesh and then used another sheet to cover half of the top. The real test will come after we get the chicks and can actually experience things for ourselves
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I can't help a whole lot with the dust issue, they are going to be dusty, especially as they get older. They are going to grow out of that size space in just a few short weeks. If you have a coop for them is it possible to put the brooder inside the coop?

    If you put them anywhere the cats have access to then I would suggest a solid cover, not just a sheet, to keep the cats out.
  4. We don't have the coop yet, but we're looking into it and hoping to get one soon. And yeah, expecting the dust, I know it's gonna happen, just wanted to see if there were any ways people tried to cut it down.

    If we put them somewhere the cats are going to be, we definitely would put a solid cover over it. I used a fitted sheet over one side of the brooder and then put another sheet over half of the top of it. Will have to adjust once we get a new red heat bulb since the one we bought the other day is too hot. I'm sure we'll figure it out as we go along. If my memory serves me properly, they really start getting dusty two-three weeks in, don't they? When they start getting their feathers?

  5. chicken8

    chicken8 In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2013
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I'm planning to brood indoors this spring for the first time and I was thinking about looking on craigslist for a used tent. I was thinking I could set it up in our utility room (luckily big enough for this) and putting the brooder box (for 8 chicks) inside the tent so the dust is a bit more contained and the cat doesn't have as much access. I figure I should be able to find a workable used tent for $20 or so.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Not bout the dust, but that size brooder's only going to be good for about 3 weeks, then they'll need something bigger. Best to plan ahead of time and not get caught with birds that are pecking each other cause the're overcrowded.
  7. I guess there's only just over 1sq foot per chick right now since the whole thing is just over 6sqft in size.

    What sort of brooder do you guys use for chicks after that? I mean, I see people keep their new chicks in rubbermaid totes and dog crates, but those are new chicks and they don't need much space per chick, and I understand they need much more space as they get bigger (2sq feet per chick) and by that number, I'd need a brooder 2x the size of this pack n play. Guess i'll have to go look around for something else....

  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If I didn't have galvanized steel troughs, I'd use cardboard boxes. You can get pretty big ones fairly easy, and the great thing is you can tape two smaller/medium boxes together and cut a door between them, instantly doubling your brooder size! This also gives a nice warm area--heat lamp in one box--and cool area--feed and water in the other box.
  9. I just read people use refrigerator boxes!! But we have a lot of cardboard, too, and we also have a lot of wood, so unless we build our coop versus buying one, I can just throw something together in the shop using our wood stuff. Since I'll have probably 6 chicks(maybe 7), I'll need at least 14sqft of space, so I could make something that's maybe 5x3 or 5x4 and maybe 3' tall out of wood or cardboard and that should be plenty big enough for when they grow. I think my Pack n Play will work well to start them off in for a couple weeks to make sure they are healthy and living properly and during those times I can work on making something bigger until they can go outside. Even then, if they're older and we have some warm days, I might be able to bring them outside onto the front porch(which heats up nicely in the sun) and give them some play time. ^^

    There are so many options for brooders I'm so excited =D

    Most 16 year old girls are into.... I actually have no idea, but I'm going to become obsessed with these birds and try to give them the best options I can and spoil the little puffs that won't be little puffs for too long(I can't wait to see how fast they grow for myself!) even if they will be messy/noisy/stinky at times. Tomorrow there will be twelve days until we can get them! The waiting is the hard part, but I still need to pick up a new heat lamp, work on finding some stuff to raise up their food and water for when they get bigger, buy their crumbles, get the marbles out for their waterer, and buy some more aspen since I don't have enough right now. (and then freeze it for 48 hrs to kill any possible mites) So I'll have some things to keep me busy until we can get our puffs.

  10. Ookay...

    looks like i might only be getting 3 chicks

    Then would my <2x3 brooder work for the whole time? It's the bare minimum space but I guarantee i'll be holding the birds and letting them out to play a lot,

    That would cut down on the dust problem

    but i'm disappointed my mom wants to only get half the amount of birds we were going to get. Three are better than none, I guess

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