Chicks here for all of two hours... Need help, please!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newbie donna, May 27, 2010.

  1. newbie donna

    newbie donna Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2010
    SW Missouri
    My sweet, fluffy sweet little chicks were delivered today but, I'm already having a problem and need some help, please.

    I've read this site from front to back, bought a couple of books and I see one thing stressed over and over again. "Keep the brooder CLEAN!". I've used pine chips and placed paper toweling on top. I've already gone through 2 big rolls of paper towels trying to keep the brooder clean but, with 17 chicks, they are pooping faster than I can change it. Please advise before I go though an entire forest in paper towels. Also, no where have I read how to bathe the chicks. How exactly is that done?

    Anxious for whatever advice you can offer!

  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Quote:"Clean" does not mean spotless. They will poop all the time. No way to stop that.

    How large is the brooder? If they are making a mess too fast, then you may need increase the amount of space they have.

    DO NOT get chicks wet.

  3. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    CHange the paper towels twice a day. Check their poopy butts at that time.

    Chickens poop. That is what they do. They are not big on hygene [​IMG]
  4. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Definitely don't give them a bath at this age, it will chill them, don't want that.

    DO, however, check each chick for pasty butt. If any of your little buddies have it, gently wash off with a little warm water and a wash rag and then dry well.

    Have fun with your new babies!
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Newbie Donna!

    Don't panic Dear! Everything will be OK. First of all, do not worry so much about keeping the chick brooder totally spotless. It can't be done. How many chicks do you have, and how big is your brooder?

    I use pine shavings too. They're great because you really don't have to change them except about once a week. You just stir them up occasionally to fluff them and sort of cover the poop.

    Now, the paper towels are just for the first couple of days.....What I do with those is put a few down flat, near the feeder, and sprinkle some food on there because it helps chicks realize what is food and what is pine shavings. I only do this for a few days. You don't need to keep changing them......I replace the paper towels a couple of times a day for just a few days. Then I don't use them anymore.

    Clean water and food are so important. Sometimes you need to put them up on a block or something to make them a bit higher than the wood shavings because the water gets full of wood shavings. I do change the water a few times a day and keep my eye on the food to keep it full.

    That's it! Very easy! Good luck and ENJOY them--don't worry yourself!

  6. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:"clean" is a relative term. clean basically means not wet and smelly. you'll know the moment it becomes "not-clean." like the others said, change the towels twice a day (unless they are wet, then go ahead and change them). after 2 days, you can stop with the paper towels. then you just want to "spot check" a couple time a day- take out any wet shavings, maybe take out and really soiled spots.

    basically, i spot checked a couple times a day, added a sprinkling (like a handful) of fresh shavings every morning, and did a complete clean every 5-7 days depending on when i felt like it needed it. make sure they have plenty of space or is will get dirty faster.

    good luck and don't panic.
  7. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Once they've found the food and water and are eating and drinking, you can probably dispense with the paper towels, and then just stir the poop into the pine shavings periodically and change them completely from time to time. The paper towel is pretty messy, I think, and not really necessary. It'll be fine! Have fun!
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    "Keep the brooder clean" is waaaay too vague for newbies, I remember! Basically, make sure to change the water when it gets fouled by their poop, or with bedding material, because they'll kick it into the water. Same for food. Otherwise, "clean" is a very relative term for brooders.

    The important thing is clean water, fresh food, pasty butts cleaned off. Plus heat and plenty of room to get away from the heat - and to avoid over-crowding the chicks.

    No baths for babies unless you're just running warm water over the rear ends of those with pasty butt! If so, dry and put the chick(s) right back UNDER the heat lamp so they don't get chilled!

    As the above poster said, the paper towels may not be necessary - certainly not after the first two days. I never used it, but I also never had day-old chicks - mine were at least 3 days to a week old. I put them directly onto pine shavings in the brooder, and just added more shavings as time went on and they needed fresh bedding. Adding TO it, not replacing it.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  9. newbie donna

    newbie donna Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2010
    SW Missouri
    Thank you all so much for your help!

    Ordered only 10 chicks but got 17. They are in a "very" big box. It was a box that used to contain a chest freezer so, surely that's enough room for them.

    I did read about pasting and one of the things suggested was to put mineral oil on their little fluffy bottoms to prevent it so, when I first took them out of the box, I applied a bit, showed them their water, which they guzzled and gave them some of the starter. They are little pooping machines!

    Is the mineral oil ok or should I not have done that and only gone with water for cleaning them?

    I'm hoping and praying I'm doing everything correctly. They are so sweet and I would hate to have any of them die. I think it would break my heart.

    Again, thank you for the help and patience. All I have is book knowledge and no practical knowledge.


    PS When might I start giving them treats such as bugs and fruit? I'm sure they are too young now.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  10. nanawendy

    nanawendy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    Sounds like you've got some good advice. I don't give treats until they are ready to go outside...totally feathered and 7-8 weeks old. But that's just me. The most important besides clean food and water and no drafts is HAVE FUN. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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