Cleaning up after chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sunshine Chick 1, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Sunshine Chick 1

    Sunshine Chick 1 In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2009
    Longwood, Florida
    Right now while our chicks are only weeks old we have them in a dog cage in the garage. We pull the tray out every other day and hose it off. But we are getting ready to build our first coop this weekend, and was wondering. Is hay fine for in the bottom floor of the coop? And how often should we change it out? What do you do with it when you change out the hay. We are going to have a wood flooring in our coop. Should we just spread a thin layer of hay for them to walk on or does it need to be thick? Thanks
  2. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Right now, I have my week old chicks in a exlarge Rubber maid container in an extra bedroom. I have a 3 to 4 inch layer of pine shavings in it. Daily, I mix up the shavings.

    I think I'm going to use the deep litter method in my coop, once its built and the chicks go outside in it. When I remove the litter, it will go into my compost pile.

    I'm interested in what others advice to you will be. Good luck with your babies!

  3. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    From what I understand hay is not great for flooring. It doesnt absorb well and can be slippery and smelly, but I could be wrong. I use pine shavings and food grade DE and have no problems with ammonia or moisture. I have used hay in the nest boxes and when I change it out I put it into a mulch pile and use a little lime to help break it down faster.
  4. Ms~Silkie~Girl

    Ms~Silkie~Girl Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    New York STATE
    I have heard also that pine wood shavings are better than hay. I also have little baby chicks (Two weeks old), i use pine wood shavings and they work great, iv'e never tried hay (im a first timer) but it may work fine. Also i might too use the deep litter method but i think i would clean it out in spring and fall (when its not really hot or really cold. Good Luck on finding the right "bedding" (and everything else)!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Hay can indeed get smelly and moldy when wet. I am sure some folks here use it and have minimal to no problems with it, though.

    I use shavings in all three of my coops - - pine in two, and Aspen in the bantam coop. I keep the litter thick, but I also police up droppings twice a day with a cat litter scoop, whisk broom and bucket (OCD much?). This only takes two minutes, it helps me monitor the health of the birds, it makes the litter last longer, cuts fly population, reduces instance of coccidiosis, etc.

    In one of the coops we slapped a vinyl floor over the wood flooring, and I just love it. Makes it easier to clean out, and leaves less hidey-holes for mites. Just a thought.

    Good luck with your chicks! [​IMG]

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