Chicken Poop in the Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by musikfan6, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    So folks, how often do you clean out your brooder. I know this can depend on size and the number of chicks, but what is the general consensus for how often you should be cleaning it out. My brooder is only about 3.5 feet by 2 feet and I have 8 chicks in it (currently three weeks old). I have pine shavings for my base. It doesn't stink, but I try to clean off the top layer every three to four days. Is that enough, too much, not enough??

    Thanks all for whatever advice you might have. I so much appreciate the information here folks. I am a novice and your insight is so very helpful!
     
  2. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 3, 2012
    I dont know the correct answer but this is what I did. I have 12 chicks and they started out in a 2x3 plywood brooder. The bottom was a layer of pine shavings and then i also did paper towels over some of it. They lived in that brooder for the first 3 weeks. I tend to over do things but because they were so young i didnt want them eatting there own poop so I cleaned the brooder 2 times a day once in the morning and once in the evening. Now they are in a 4x4 plywood brooder in the garge they moved out there at 3 weeks old and are currently 5 weeks old. I clean it out once a week though daily i do scoop out some of the mess and stir it and put a new thin layer of shavings. Im a newbie also so I sure hope im doing it right:)
     
  3. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Dumb question, but are the chicks smart enough to not eat too much of their poop? Mine peck at it every so often, but I figure that they are smart enough to realize that it isn't food (probably doesn't taste great...). Is this common at this age?
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I use pine shavings myself. How often I clean the brooder depends on how many chicks I have in it. For a few chicks I may not clean it at all before they go to the grow-out pen. For larger numbers such as in the spring when I typically have 50-60 at a time in a given brooder I'll usually clean it out completely twice. About midway between cleanings I may add some more shavings and I stir everything if it's beginning to crust up if the chicks haven't been scratching enough. My brooders are based on stock tanks or a four by eight rectangular plywood box.

    So long as they aren't starving they're not going to eat their own manure, but they will scratch through everything because it's their nature to do so.

    When you think it's time to clean then it's time. Otherwise not. I don't like mine to stink and if it draws more than a few flies then it's time.
     
  5. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Thanks for this good advice. I see that you are well seasoned in this business. I'm sure you would know!

    I suppose that when you turn it over, it just composts?
     

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