Brooder litter


7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
Hello! We are brand new to chicken raising and just got our 12 little delaware chicks in the mail on October 16th. We plan on doing a deep litter/compost method once our birdies are old enough to move out to the coop. I'm wondering if we can use that method in the brooder. If not, how often do we need to be changing the litter? I've been stirring up the old litter and adding a fresh layer of litter each day. The poor little ladies and gents get really spooked when I'm messing around with their litter. So I don't want to stress them out more than necessary but I also want to make sure we're being really diligent about protecting their health.

I kinda do DLM in the brooder. I add 3" of pine shavings before the chicks go in. I add an inch a week of new shavings. I take the chicks out and put them in cat carriers when I do this. I remove all litter at 3 weeks and start over again. Then I move them out to the grow-out tractor at 6 weeks. Worked pretty well for me.
I did pine shavings for the first 2 weeks, then switched to playground sand and SweetPDZ. Both have worked fine.
Deep litter should not be used in the brooder, as young chicks do not have the resistance to infections, parasites and diseases that older birds have. Change the litter as often as needed to keep it from becoming soiled or damp. this year I used a mix of pelleted pine litter (horse bedding) and pine shavings - worked much better than just shavings, less smell for sure.

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