Dirty Feet!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 12, 2010
I had to rescue my three chicks from thier psycopathic broody mama 2 days ago. I put together a make shift brooder in the spare bedroom out of a plastic tote. I'm having issues with poops gettin on their feet and drying into balls. What can I use to help, maybe different litter? Washing them is way too stressful and they're only 2-1/2 weeks old.

p.s. pardon any typos. It is hard to type while cuddling chicks to your bosom in a dish towel.
Put pine shavings on the floor of your brooder. What are you using now? The tote floor is too slick for little feet and they could get splayed legs. Do you have textured paper towels like Brawny or Bounty? Put some of that down on the floor until you can get some shavings so they don't slip.

Edit: I missed that they are 2.5 weeks old. That's probably old enough they won't get splayed legs, but the shavings will help keep their feet cleaner.
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I find that what gets stuck to their toes in little balls is food, not poop (well maybe a little of both)
The solution is to set up the food in a way that minimizes spillage and set the water source farther away from the food - the combination of the two creates a very sticky mess. When mine get balls on their toes it means I've been very lazy not cleaning their cages!

Also, the best way to get them off is to pull them. I'm not talking about yanking them, but a firm consistent pressure like a robin pulls a worm out of the ground. It'll pop right off.
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If you're having problems with spilled food and water like TinkleTurkey mentioned, you can use upturned dishes or boxes or whatever to raise the food and water dishes if you don't have any way to hang them. Raise them about to the level of the chicks' backs and they will be able to reach fine without making such a mess.
I was using a thick layer of timothy hay. It is what I had on hand at the time. I will go get some pine shavings in the morning. Thanks!
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