Brooder cleaning, Oh what a job!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dragonchick, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. dragonchick

    dragonchick Songster

    Sep 30, 2007
    Well today was brooder cleaning day. The brooder is 3' x 6' or the size of a twin bunk bed frame. Trying to get 27 3 week old chicks caught and into a large dog crate was definitely a job. I was wore out by the time I caught them all and had to steal their energy by osmosis to clean the brooder!! I figure I took their energy cause they were all tuckered out by the time I got them in the crate. They didn't even object to being picked up again when I put them back into the now clean brooder.

    This was the first time it had been cleaned since I got them. I just kept adding more shavings on top of the old. I had noticed an odor so it was time to clean it out. Ended up with a 33 gal trash bag of stuff for the garden. It should be well composted by next spring.
  2. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    Job well done and worth it I'm sure. So how are you composting? Are you keeping everything in the bag or what? I'm trying to figure out a way to compost the straw and sand I used with the chicken doo doo. [​IMG]
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    That does sound like a big day for all of you! I bet they were really happy to have clean litter in their brooder. For a smaller amount of chicks, I also catch them and put them in another container, then just pour out the dirty shavings.

    When I had a big freezer box for a brooder with 50 chicks in it, I just worked at one end of the brooder at a time. I took out the food and water, then started scooping out the shavings at one end, moving slowly and talking gently. The chicks just stayed in the other end. I used a dust pan as a scoop. I refilled that end with a few shavings, then went to work emptying the other end, while the chicks moved to the clean end. It worked pretty well for me. That might be an option for you, too.

    For composting dirty litter, I've always just tossed it on a compost pile out by the garden. You can buy or make a container, but a plain old pile works, too. It depends on your neighborhood and your sense of style. [​IMG]
  4. Well done, I do empty some soiled duck's hay into the compost, but thats all, I dont want to attract foxes, they can smell them a mile off!!!
    Can you put pine shavings in the compost, i thought it would be too acid or alkaline!! whichever?
  5. Pine shavings in the compost pile are fine; there is no problem with pH.

    For all compost, if you smell ammonia coming off the compost pile, add more carbon (pine or straw), or change the bedding more often. However, make sure the bedding is sufficiently poopy that there is enough nitrogen in your compost pile (you'll know there is when it really heats up; I almost burned my hand testing mine the other day, so I finally went out and bought a compost thermometer; 154 degrees from 1" in, all the way to the center!!!

    I have a hard-to-see corner of my garden, and have my compost piles there. I J-clipped wire which has 1" x 1" squares, and is 3' tall, into a nice round bin which is a little more than 4 feet across (I think I used the 15' roll of wire I got at Tractor Supply). Mac had suggested that way of making a compost bin, and it is what I have been doing for 10 years. The upside is that you have a nice, big, aerated bin which makes the most WONDERFUL humus/compost (I've been told there is a difference, and I must admit that the stuff which comes out of these larger piles is more like soil and less like the compost I make in my smaller, cooler piles) in about 6 months. The downside is that if there is no rain, I sometimes have to water my compost pile because it can dry out.

    I think I am going to break down and build a Compost Hacienda, much like I found in this website: I like the idea of capturing rainwater to feed the pile in the drier months.

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