Best way to keep chicks in house all winter long?


Coturnix Obsessed
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Kay, Got a delema here, Could NOT pass up on a ton of Button Quail eggs and free FREE Silkie eggs, and i live in south western PA....on the top of a mt in the woods...gets VERY cold here. I already realize theres just about no way any of these eggs due to hatch within days of now will fare well outside once they're 6-8 weeks old...SO with that do I ensure to keep down on the smell that will be in the house? I could have 8 silkie chicks, as well as 30+ button quail chicks. I have a bigger brooder for the silkie chicks which will do well for them for about i'd say 4 weeks, but after that I'll surely have to upgrade them...the button quail chicks will be fine in my various smaller brooders. I'm much more concerned about my silkies. Their poo. Any indoor advice for how to keep smell down? I'm willing to clean their brooders out as many times a day as possible...however I'm curious if along with cleaning if theres any reccomendations you acn give me so I don't get any complaints? My husband and I live and rent from m yparents who live here as well, and my mom has a bloodhound nose i swear! LOL! So, any advice, any cleaning or natural scent eliminatiors i can use along with cleaning up their brooders a ton of times a day? I'll do anything!! I want them healthy happy and safe all winter long AND....i am not able to put heat lamps outsdie so that's not even an option.


You haven't mentioned where you will keep them? I over-wintered silkies in my basement and had an air cleaner installed but since I cleaned the poop many times a day...the smell was not the problem...the problem was the dust from the litter that I kept them on and I really can't see how to eleminate that so this year they will be in a heated coop separated from the big girls.

They will need to have more space as they grow out and that means that the poop will spread out over a larger region than the brooder area. Not an easy endeavor but possible. I'm interested to hear from other posters on the 'how to"
Wire cage bottom floor will help alot of the poop. Just do it like caged birds, newspaper on bottom and clean it out often.

The feather dust would be a problem. Bathroom would be a good place to keep them in for a little while IF you dont have access to a basement. I've raised chicks in basement without a problem but the dust is terrible. I had to put up gauze towels on the sides of cage and wash it daily to keep dust down. I live in the city as well.

Good luck!
How about those watermelon boxes from walmart? I have one I use as a brooder and it was great for several chicks for a long time. IN fact I just moved my four outside with the others and they are 11 weeks old now. They had plenty of room in the box and could have even stayed in their longer. These are full size chickens (orps, polish, and g phoenix) so I'm sure if you get two boxes you could keep them in there for several weeks. I cleaned out the boxes once a week and we never smelled a thing. Use pine shavings as it holds the smell better and longer. Good luck! OH and the boxes are FREE! What we did was cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom and made a screen top out of chicken wire so they would not fly out when they got bigger. I have a picture of it in my website which is in my avatar if you want to see it here is a link:
I have the same brooder as you but it's 4'x4' with the cardboard bottom and top if I want it. I cut out a door in one of the sides for easy access. It's perfect for awhile but then they need more space to run and jump and fly around. Nice job on the screen top!
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