Awful Smell

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by teachergirl, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. teachergirl

    teachergirl Hatching

    Jul 1, 2007
    HELP!! The smell is driving me mad! I have 24 chicks who will be used for meat. They are two weeks old now and appear to be doing well. They are living in our attached garage in two large cardboard boxes. We are using wood shavings on the bottom. The problem is with the awful smell. I change the litter every day or two, but the smell is terrible. I can smell the chickens when I walk into the house now- not too great when you have guests over. I have heard meat birds eat and therefore poop more than layers so should I be changing the litter a few times a day? Any suggestions? Can I start putting them outside if they are safe from predators (at least during the warmest parts of the day?) I don't want to build a coop because they will be going to my friend's house once they get their feathers. Any ideas on a cheap, safe place to put them? I want to keep up this hobby but won't be able to stand the smell for another two weeks. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. andischickenfarm

    andischickenfarm Songster

    Jun 19, 2007
    N.E. Oklahoma
    If it was me I would put some wire on the top of the box just to keep them in and stuff out and set them outside during the day. Then bring them back in at night. As long as the temp doesn't change to much from outside to inside your garage, they shouldn't get sick. Hope this helps.

  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Just 4 stink to high heaven, that's why I put them outside. Is by any chance their litter getting wet by them dabbling though it? Wet litter will aggravate the stinky poo by a million fold
  4. Jimagination

    Jimagination Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    Lancaster, PA
    I would guess that the boxes are soaked through and the smell is coming from that. i had the same problem with mine!

    Hope it helps.
  5. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Try using a rabbit cage. These have a tray that you can put the shavings in and set the cage on the top. That way nothing gets wet and you can change the shavings without taking the chicks out. I HATE boxes, to many bad things can happen when
    you use them. You can set the chicks out during the day with no problems as long as the wind is not blowing to hard. Set them in the sun and make sure they have something coveing half of the cage, so they have shade also.
  6. teachergirl

    teachergirl Hatching

    Jul 1, 2007
    Thanks everyone. The poop is getting wet and therefore stinking more. What do I do so the litter doesn't get wet? Their water is raised a little, but maybe I should raise it more? If I was to use a rabbit cage, would the metal bottom be okay for their feet?
  7. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Songster

    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Raise the water more. Another problem might be that you ahve too many in a small space. Once I gave mine more room, they stopped spilling the water so much. What I did with a wire bottom cage was cover it with some newspaper and then put a 1/2" or so of pine shavings over it. I changed it daily which was easy b/c I just rolled the shavings up in the newspaper.
  8. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I have heard that wire floors are a no-no unless you cover them with something. Bad for their feet and they don't like it at all?

    I put a heavy-duty plastic tablecloth (the kind with the flannel back, about $2 at the dollar store I think) to line mine, and taped it down with duct tape.

    That worked great until they moved the litter enough to find it, and started scratching it. Now there are some shreds, but it's still in the box, and still doing 90% of it's job. I can wipe it down easily when I change the litter.

    I would only suggest this if you want super-cheap though. I had to do it for that reason. It won't be possible to re-use it, and mine have been in it for about 4 weeks. Another week and I'll have to toss it for sure, but I'm hoping to have something else built for them by then (and get them OUT of my HOUSE!). [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2007
  9. ChickenGuy

    ChickenGuy In the Brooder

    May 23, 2007
    Midland, Michigan
    I don't know how deep your wood chips are, but maybe you could have them deeper? I had my 17 meat birds in a 3'x 3' box for three weeks, I had them in about 3 or 4 inches of wood chips and never changed it. If the litter started to get wet, i would just give it a couple turns with a small garden rake thing or just my hands. The brood lamp kept most of it dry and I never once had a stink problem.
  10. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    How's your air circulation? I only noticed a smell when it got a little chilly and I shut the storeroom window where I had my brooder. I read that chicks need to have a constant supply of fresh air, so I kept a window open and a fan running in front of it during the day, and as long as I did that, there was no smell.

    I only changed my litter once or twice a week, otherwise I just added litter a couple times a day.

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