chicks - smell?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tbest5179, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. tbest5179

    tbest5179 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2009
    Hi! I'm interested in raising a small flock of 6 hens or so. I had some RIR in Seattle, but just kinda 'inherited' them; I didn't raise them from chicks.
    I understand chicks need to be indoors until they are 8 weeks old or so. How bad do they smell?? I certainly would keep them as clean and change litter, etc., but after a few hours on their own... what would I face in terms of odor here?
    Any info would be most appreciated!
  2. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I have never smelled a significant smell in the first few weeks, not even if I bend over the brooder and sniff.

    Be sure to use lots and lots of litter & lots of space, I have at least three inches of pine shavings in a 3 x 4 box (12 chicks). This can be stirred and fluffed up for several days before needing changed.

    Since you already have chickens, you probably know about cecal poo, those amazingly smelly liquidy poos that chickens have about once a day. Scoop these out if you see them, they're a big part of any smell problem.

    8 weeks is pretty long to keep them in, they will be huge and definitely stinky by then. My last years chicks (first batch) went out to a draft-free coop with a brooder lamp at four weeks, and that's the plan for the current little peepers too. I've heard most people say 6 weeks, but we are lucky enough to have electric to the coop, so we went earlier. Depends on your weather, too.

    Hope this helps.
  3. agirly4chicks

    agirly4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2009
    Hamilton, Georgia USA
    I have 11 chicks that are working on 3 weeks old and I change there shaving/poop about every 2 to 3 days and they are in my guest bedroom with the door shut all the time. When you walk in the room there is a different smell but it is not bad at all or grose smelling just different. The only time it has really stunk is I let the bedding go 4 days before I changed it. But that was my fault for not taking care of them. I imagine that once they get a little bigger that the cleaning duties will become daily. Even if it was a bad smell it would be worth it for a couple months.

    Good luck [​IMG]
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Its not nec. to keep them in your house if you have a draft free space that you can get the temp to stay stable with the lights. I tried that with my first ones and after one month the dust was unbearable. Now I have a brooder in a cinderblock building. It is backed up to a hill and partially surrounded by the soil. The temp is 40 to 50 degrees almost year round. I put my brooder in there and make sure the temp stays stable in it. I keep a really warm area under the light of 90+ degrees and they have room to get to where it is only 80 if they desire.
    Proper cleanning is a must for your health and theirs. It is fun to have the little ones inside for a bit and let them learn to love you. Just remember the draft free and plenty of room.
    After 9 weeks I am still finding the dust in things. I have even dusted down the walls and ceilings. The hen odor did not get bad until about the 6 week period. Then i smelled hens not poop. Jean

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