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Cleaning?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KDOGG331, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    So I got my chickies Tuesday ad they didn't poop a lot but now they do. So I'm wondering, how often am I supposed to clean the thing? Because starting I think yesterday? Or the night before? They now poop SO much. they didn't at first but do now. I heard every week? But that doesn't seem enough because there's so much? Am I maybe supposed to be raking the shavings so the poop gets mixed in/there's cleaner ones on top then full clean every week or something? The shavings are also more compacted now and not fluffy. And water is daily or every other day right? Water wasn't too dirty and they drink from the ground instead of climbing in so haven't changed it yet but I think I will today and add the vitamin stuff (had a chick with a neck thing, seems better and eating and drinking but still want to add it) if I can find it (hopefully it wasn't accidentally thrown out). But I just... I feel like I should rake the shavings? Or scoop the poop out? Or just do a full clean much more often? Or maybe just get a bigger area for them if it's possible? And/or open a window for ventilation? They're in the bathroom now but going back to the garage as soon as I get hardware cloth to make a mouse proof thing. In kiddie pool now. Oh and there's 9 and I'm doing the MHP thing. I don't want them to get sick but I need to figure something out and/or also find a rake or something so I can at least move the shavings around. I feel like I'm terrible at this :( they do have clean food though and again the water's pretty clean but it seems like at this rate even if I fully cleaned it daily or every other day they would just make the huge mess again shortly after. It's almost like a Catch 22? If that's the right word? Need to clean it often (or rake) so they stay healthy but costs too much to be buying shavings every day. PLEASE HELP ME. Oh and for the record all seem healthy and happy and very active but one did sneeze on me yesterday
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Let's start with you taking a deep breath and relax.

    Start with an inch or so of bedding. When it gets pretty soiled then add another layer on top of the old just enough to cover so it "looks" clean. You can do that daily or every other day depending on how soiled it gets. Repeat until you've had to do that several times then you may want to remove all the bedding and start again fresh. Believe it or not by doing this will actually help your chicks immune systems. But they should never have wet bedding at any cost.

    Important that you do remove any heavily wet bedding that may have been caused by spilled water or put the waterer on a shallow tray to catch any spills. Water should be fresh daily.

    If you give them the electrolytes remember to make a fresh batch every day and only give for 3 days.

    They need to have plenty of ventilation but should never be exposed to drafts. Until they have their first feathers they are vulnerable to getting too cold. Making sure they have heat warmer than you would expect and that they should be able to move off or away from the heat source so they can regulate their own temperatures. If they are lively and moving around the temps are probably just about right.

    It could be any number of things that caused a sneeze. Dust perhaps? Just keep an eye on it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh and also underneath I think it might be a bit wet from the water?or from something. Should I just dump all the shavings out and start over? And/or get a new waterer? Thinking of trying paper or something. I'd love sand but we'd have to have that delivered plus I worry it's too close a color to their food
     
  4. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    I think we posted at the same time read my reply above your last one.
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I think you're right that we posted at the same time and thank you very much for your help. :)

    That bedding thing with the shallow and.adding more sounds like a great idea, I think I will try that.

    But so should I go through and see if there's wet bedding and remove it and/or start over now and do it this way?

    And the waterer is on bricks but maybe I could find a pan or something to put it on. I'll also start replacing the water every day and maybe filling it up less? I think it's way too big.

    I opened the window maybe an hour ago I will go check them again but it is pretty warm today and they have high cardboard sides so I think they will be okay. Hopefully it helps and then I will clean or change the bedding.

    It could possibly be dust or maybe ammonia from not cleaning, not sure. The food's Agway's brand so pretty dusty.

    She was out of the brooder at the time though, I was holding her, and had put them in a small laundry basket to get used to my hands but I did sprinkle some food down and had accidentally spilled some.on my lap or maybe had dust on my glove so that could be it. I know she sneezed because she got liquid on my arm
     
  6. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Just remove ALL the parts that are wet and fill the hole with new and put a little new on the remaining old. I'm not sure what your using for a waterer. For my chicks I get the plastic ones that screw onto a mason jar. You fill the jar, screw on the watering "lid" and flip over. You can get them from Tractor Supply. These will fit on the plastic lids from a #10 sized coffee can (or something similar with as small a lip you can find they can climb over) to catch any spills. Just take it out and dump the spilled water and replace periodically.
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Sounds like a good plan. :)

    I have a picture of the waterer somewhere I'll find.

    But there's a somewhat important update:

    Okay so I just went in to check on them and decided to put gloves on and take everything out and stir their bedding, like fluff it all up and mix it and everything, and it helped with the poo but it also became EXTREMELY dusty and aromatic (there was dust on my gloves and finer pieces) so I'm thinking maybe this is NOT the best bedding and I need to move them onto something else ASAP? I don't think the pine is bad but I think it's just these bags are and I should maybe find big flakes and kiln dried instead or go with like carefresh type paper bedding or sand? That dust simply can not be good for them....
     
  8. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    I've always used pine shavings like you would use for rabbits that I get from my local feed store. Tractor Supply carries a premium pine shavings with low dust they list for $4.99 for 8 cubic feet. That should last you quite a while. But stirring it up will cause dust to rise and can be very bad for the chicks respiratory system. So avoid that as much as possible. When cleaning it use a dust pan or small scoop and remove it carefully to reduce dust. The pine shavings are better for absorbing excess moister from the poop and help keep odors at a minimum.
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, that's what mine are, just a bag from the feed store (I think it's technically an Agway but it's like local, idk). They had a barrel with plastic bags and bags of hay in another so it must have been local or something. I'll have to try TSC or see what ai can find online. I don't mind pine shavings if there's not much dust but I suppose stirring it up would probably cause more dust to appear. Although won't the chicks stir it up too? But yeah, next time I'll have to get a pan or scoop or something or take the chicks out
     
  10. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    The chicks will more likely pack it down rather than stirring it up. They may try and scratch a little near the feeder but it won't be enough to cause any problems. Don't overthink it too much.

    A disgusting mass of poop is bad especially if there is moisture in there (perfect environment for bad bacteria). Yet, chicks will poop all day long and being exposed to poop as long as there is plenty of absorbent bedding will keep things dryer and allow good bacteria to grow. Think: moisture bad, dry good.

    So what you can do to keep a healthy system is get some pine shavings and lay down an inch or two. The next morning when you change the water remove any obvious wet areas (around the waterer), then put a layer (1/4 to 1/2 inch or so) of a fresh layer of shavings on top of the old. Repeat. After you get three to four inches accumulated (four or five days give or take) then take out all the old and restart with fresh.

    If at anytime you notice moisture (condensation) on the sides of the kiddie pool then remove all bedding and refresh.
     

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