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Brooder box...advice please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ButtersMama, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. ButtersMama

    ButtersMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2011
    What is the best way to have this set up. My chicks are now growing (4 weeks old) and pooping more. It smells pretty bad. They are in my house. Their coop isnt ready plus it is too cold in MI for them. There are 5 chicks in a 50 gallon plastic bin with 100W red light. They seem happy but getting a little crowded. I am finding that I should probably be cleaning the box daily. Currently I am lining with newspaper or brown paper bag. I add pine chips. Right after I clean, they move chips and tear up the news paper. So between their infatuation with moving chips, tearing up paper and pooping...I'd like some input on the set up and clean up procedure.

    Anyone?
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Can you get larger boxes? We have a local furniture store that will save very large (3 ft. x 6 ft. or such) cardboard boxes if we call in advance. I have always used them to raise my chicks, I've usually gotten two large boxes - cut a doorway into each one - butted them up together and taped them together to double the space for the chicks.

    At this point they are going to make lots of mess --- quickly (as you are discovered). I never lined the bottom of the boxes -- the lining holds moisture and the smells more than the cardboard itself (at least in this dry climate); instead I added shavings every day (like doing the DLM - deep litter method). Once a week I would totally clean out the boxes and start over with fresh shavings. I have raised chicks this way for over 8 weeks in the house. It wasn't a good situation and I wouldn't recommend it... yuk!! But, it worked.

    Good luck.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    The spring that I artificially brooded chicks I made them a little playpen on our screened in breezeway where I put them during the daytime hours. It was warm enough during the day here so that they didn't need a brooder light out there.

    Since they were only in the house at night (both for warmth and for security), it helped a lot. And I was able to clean out the indoor brooder while they were outdoors, and clean the outdoor one while they were indoors.

    The other thing that helped the smell, actually, was switching feeds. I started my chicks off on a local feed, soy based. But as they got older, I discovered Countryside Naturals, which contains no soy. I ordered some, and as soon as I started feeding it, the chickeny smell in the brooder went away.
     

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