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Chicks themselves have odor

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tired401, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. tired401

    tired401 Hatching

    Mar 29, 2011
    We are new at the chick thing so forgive me if I am asking a dumb question. We have 8 baby chicks and they have started smelling bad. At first I thought it was the living area so I would clean everyday then I realized it was the chicks themselves. Five of them are two and half weeks old and the other three are four weeks old. Is this normal and what can I do to minimize the odor? They are in the house since it is still to cold outside and the hubby is still working on their home.

  2. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Songster

    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    Hmm. I don't know why the chicks would smell. [​IMG] What are they eating? Oh, and [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  3. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I have 7 chicks in house at about 5 weeks and I notice a smell only when bedding needs changing. I change bedding fully not less than once a day. I do not observe that the animals themselves have an odor when held at a normal distance, but I haven't stuffed my nose in one. If they truly have an odor, I might be concerned about contamination with droppings or a health issue? Does your brooder have enough square footage?

    After a first week using paper towels as bedding to prevent splay leg, I went to newspaper. I spread a layer down several papers thick, and throughout day, since I work at home, put a fresh layer on top of poo to give them a clean surface. Once a day, I do a complete change of bedding by simply rolling up the layered papers as a unit and folding over. Any food and dust remaining is rapidly swept using small dust brush/pan. Chicks now know to get out of the way of fresh layer going down. I have not heard of any reason not to use newspaper when they are past the first few days, and my chicks seem happy and healthy with good legs. They have a perch, etc. They do experiment with scratching/tearing up the top layers, a good source of fun, and have eaten a few strips and bits. I have given grit.

    Takes only 2-3 minutes to do a complete bedding change and bedding is free. This has worked for me since I have a very small number, and am using an oversized dog crate elevated to a height that I literally can stick my head and shoulders into cage to swap bedding. I can see where a larger number would do best on shavings. I notice at the farm store with large bins of chicks that they are constantly replacing shavings to keep things fresh.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  4. Chickengal505

    Chickengal505 Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bolivia N.C
    Check your feed really good. I had little moths eat some of my chick starter and it got all powdery. The dust smelled weird but you could only see in on the feeder not in the bag. The powder was flying all around and getting caught in their fluff making my chicks smell funny. I washed them off with shampooand warm water. I blow dried them really good after then I thew away the bad feed.
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello and welcome!

    I think, what you might be smelling is cecal droppings.....I've had alot of chicks, and when they get really excited.....Like if you're talking to them and maybe handling them or hand feeding them......They will poop this stinky, reddish brown poo that is runny and sticky. This is totally normal, but this poop really REALLY stinks!

    It can make a brand new, spanking clean chick brooder smell like a poop factory......One little blob of this cecal poo is just lethal smelling.......

    So, look around and you will probably see that is what is causing an odor when you interact with your chicks. When I see that poo, I just quickly cover it with some pine shavings so the chicks don't step all over it.......

    I sure hope this helps,
  6. tired401

    tired401 Hatching

    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks everyone for the help. I have five two week old chicks in a 35 gallon tub with pine shavings and I change that daily. When I take out chicks no smell, but when I put them back that is when the odor is noticed. I noticed it more with the four week old chickens, three, that are in the other container. I have screen wire on top of the container so that they get good ventilation. I don't over fill their food, I just add daily. It is definitively the chicks that have the smell.

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