Do new chicks start smelling bad?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ajlynco, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. ajlynco

    ajlynco Chirping

    Sep 7, 2011
    Reno, NV.
    I'm getting 6 babies in mid Oct. and, of course, will have to raise them indoors in a brooder for a while. If I keep up on the cleaning, will the brooder set-up begin to stink? I have a room in the basement I could move them to but I'd really like to keep them upstairs where I can keep an eye on em. Eventually they'll go out to the coop but with winter just around the corner, I'm a little worried about thier health out in the cold. I live in Reno, NV. and you never know what the weather's gonna do. Any thoughts or ideas? [​IMG]

  2. mama24

    mama24 Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    The amount of dust they produce is far worse than any smell.
  3. ca

    ca Songster

    Oct 7, 2010
    I kept chicks in the living room for weeks because it was too hot outside for them. I used wood chips. Pretty much no smeel if you keep it clean and not too much dust.
  4. jbs

    jbs Chirping

    May 23, 2011
    I started my chicks indoors as well, and they did start to smell a bit by week two. I cleaned the brooder constantly, but I had 15 chicks. After two weeks I moved them to a larger stock tank on my porch, and that was easier to keep clean, but as they got bigger I had trouble keeping up with that too. They've been in their coop for several weeks and that never smells, I guess because there's a lot more shavings.

    The biggest problem I had with keeping my chicks indoors was the dust. They scratch constantly which created a layer of dust everywhere, the floor, curtains, everything. I wanted them inside so I could keep an eye on them, but if there's a next batch of chicks, I'll strongly consider brooding them outside on the porch, or at least in a smaller room, maybe a bathroom or something that would be easier to clean. Good luck with your chicks!
  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    You might think about waiting until spring to get chicks. You would not want to put chicks outdoors in cold or even cool temperatures until they're fully feathered, and if there is a significant disparity between the indoor temp they're used to and the outdoor temps when you try to move them outdoors, that could be a problem. It's better with birds to try to avoid sudden, severe temperature shifts either way (hot to cold, cold to hot).

    I brooded five chicks in a bird cage in the corner of our den for about 8 weeks, although I was able to put them outdoors for daytime pretty quickly because the outdoor temps were good, and I was able to keep an eye on them. They started to get stinky after a couple of weeks not because of the bedding (I used paper and cloth towels and cleaned them several times a day) but because they developed BO from the feed they were on. When I switched to a soy free premium feed, the BO went away.

    And, yes, there is a lot of dust to contend with especially as the chicks' feathers come in. One of those rechargeable dustbusters comes in very handy, but of course you can't use it when the chicks are around. It would freak out their little hearts.

  6. OneTenthAcreAndAChicken

    OneTenthAcreAndAChicken In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2011
    San Diego
    I had 4 chicks in the basement for about 3 weeks before they moved out to the coop. They were in a box with pine shavings. The dust was more of a problem than the smell. I did have to change it out once, but that was more because water spilled in the box... it did smell a bit then.
  7. rpchris

    rpchris Chirping

    Aug 27, 2011
    Saint Louis, MO
    I agree with the dust comments. I had 5 chicks in a box with pine shavings in my basement studio for only 2 weeks and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING was covered with dust. It was on/in all my books, in the keys of my computer keyboard, on all of my artist supplies.

    After 2 weeks I moved them to the unfinished side of my basement which isn't insulated and a bit draftier but they are doing fine over there. And they can make as much dust as they want.

    I don't notice the smell except when one has a particularly nasty poop and I'm standing right by them.
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Allow enough run space for the chicks; allow about 1 sq ft per chick and that will help the shavings stay dry for a long, long time. Eventually when the birds are bigger, mine were still in the house at 10-12 weeks, yet the bedding stayed fairly dry, with a little cleaning now and then.

    When you trasition them outside, choose a mild week, they must have full set of feathers and I provide a red heat lamp because I can leave it on all night while they sleep. I needed 2 in late March for 25 chicks. THey were still a bit cold for 3-4 nights. THey huddled together in a tight group at night until they adjusted to the temps.


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