Exactly how dusty/smelly/messy will the indoor chicks be?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hyzenthlay, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. hyzenthlay

    hyzenthlay Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    SW PA
    I'm getting my first chicks next week--I'll have a total of 3. The plan is to have them in our unfinished basement for at least 6 weeks or so--we won't have their coop & run built until then. I've been reading a lot lately about how much dust chicks create, and how smelly they get, and that it can be bad for your lungs, and how eager people are to boot them outside.

    My question is, with only 3 chicks, will they really be so bad? I have asthma and some allergies anyway--not terrible--it doesn't keep me from having dogs and rabbits in the house, and riding horses--but still. Are chicks going to make our basement toxic?
  2. I have to keep my chicks inside for about 2 weeks. Once they start to lose their fluff and get their feathers, you have little fluff ball flying around all over the place.
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I have 17 chicks inside at the moment, 3+ weeks old. They are stinky, smelly, nasty little creatures, and I love each and every one! [​IMG] And 20 in the incubator, coming April 1st.

    Dust is the biggest issue, they seem to scatter it everywhere!Three shouldn't be too big a mess, enjoy them!
  4. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Ours are not bad----at all.

    For 2 weeks I had the brooder in the vanity in our bedroom, then hubby had a fit ( [​IMG] he just can't understand LOL) so now they're in the sunroom.
    I've never noticed the dust or anything like that, and I have 14 babies in 2 different brooders. 7 of the babies are now 4 weeks old, and the other 7 are one week. No dust problems or anything.

    Go for it [​IMG]

    ETA: I do have to sweep up shavings they've kicked out and the occasional feather once every few days. But that's it [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  5. cockadoodle

    cockadoodle Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    I have 4 chicks in my basement. They are 4 weeks now, like the poster above me said, you will see some of their down feathers floating around, but nothing too bad. It doesn't stink at all in my opinion, some of that depends on the breed of chicken and what they are eating. Dual purpose birds or layers on starter feed don't stink in my opinion. I started my chicks on pine bedding, changed it after 1 week... and again at 2 weeks. At 3 weeks I moved them onto wood pelets (the kind used in horse stalls and pellet stoves) and I don't smell anything bad in my basement after another 4 or 5 days. Everyone's tolerance to smells is different, but frankly I'll take the smells from my 4 chicks over the catbox next to my bedroom any day [​IMG]

  6. briana1975

    briana1975 Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    We have 2 turkey poults in a brooder in the basement. I keep a kids sandbox shovel handy and scoop poop1 to 2 times a day into a plastic grocery bag seal it up and throw away. I think the feed in the bag next to them stinks much worse then the brooder. What have I been thinking, I gotta compost that poop. It will be great!
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    Can I ask why you are getting your chicks 6 weeks before your coop will be done? Can you delay getting chicks for a few weeks? With only three, it won't be so bad at first, but my babies are just now over 6 weeks old and they're huge! They eat a ton and they love to free-range outside when it's not too cold and wet. I absolutely cannot imagine having them in the house this long. I know many people keep them in this long and longer, but I can't see why. Mine have been out in the coop with heat lamps since 2 weeks old and they have been doing great! I was SO ready to get them out of the house at two weeks. Granted, I have 15 chicks, not 3... and as I said - it is certainly common to keep them in for a long time, but I think you'll be happier if you don't. I would suggest waiting to get the chicks until your coop is closer to finished. If you can't wait, then you'll be just fine with them in the basement... though, one question - are there any windows down there? I have read that it's very important for the chicks to get some natural (sun) light from the very beginning. Also, you'll be happier if you have a window so you can vent the room sometimes.
  8. jacca5

    jacca5 Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Hodgenville, KY
    Right now I have 25 chicks in the house about 3 weeks old. They smell pretty bad at times, I have gotten use to it but the company I have occasionally ummmm............ they say it stinks and I don't care.
  9. hyzenthlay

    hyzenthlay Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    SW PA
    Thanks for all the responses. I plan to clean up their area every day or a couple times a day if need be, so it sounds like hopefully it won't get too bad. Lisahaschickens, the timing of my order was pretty much based around when my nearest hatchery had faverolles available (I really want a faverolle!)--if I didn't get these now, I'd have to wait until at least July, and I think all that waiting might kill me! DH has finally gotten on board with the chick thing after years of me agitating for them, so I'm pretty eager, lol.

    The basement does have lots of glass block windows, so it gets sunlight but not much ventilation. We have a front porch we could put them on if we have to, but we're in the city, so I'd worry a little about leaving them out there, especially with the heat lamp shining on them and making them obvious to passers-by.

    Oh, and I guess I could also put them in our detached garage if I had to--it gets lots of light and has decent ventilation. It has no heat or anything, so I'd have to run an extension cord out there for the heat lamp, but that would probably be safer than the porch, if it came to it.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  10. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Songster

    Nov 20, 2008
    Astatula Florida
    From November to first part of March I had chicks in my spare bedroom and only keep there a couple weeks and then they went out to cage in coop for few weeks now in big divided pens but anyway..when did wasn't too bad as long as kept cleaned changed paper towels and pine shavings occasionally..the dust is what I hated the most..my house didn't stink as I stayed on top of that but was constantly dusting and when I finally got them all outside and was all done incubating I cleaned up the whole house from top to bottom..then had to go to Tractor Supply and guess what they had baby chicks and I fell in love all over again but resisted and did not buy any..

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