Feed and Water in Brooder Box - suggestions/help please

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by twinmom+1VT, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. twinmom+1VT

    twinmom+1VT In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2010
    My chicks are 4 weeks old and are doing very well in their brooder box. Naturally they're growing really fast and I think they're slowly running out of room. Hubby is busy finishing the coop, but I still think it's going to take a bit of time! Okay, so here's my question. My chicks are getting shavings in both their food and water all the time. I change food/water 2-3x per day. I have tried raising the feeders/waterer onto stacked 2x4s but they end up standing on the feeder and knocking it over and still getting tons of shavings into the waterer. Our box is not deep enough to accommodate a feeder/waterer that I can hang. I'm running out of ideas of what to do and would love some help. I always feel bad since each time I change their food/water they act like they're starving/very thirsty. I don't want them getting stressed by this. Otherwise, they seem very happy, no pecking issues, etc.
  2. bturbo87

    bturbo87 Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    I had and still have the same problem it is kind of normal honestly. What I did though is I have two brooders because they are different ages, one is in a rubbermaid container and the other is in my dog kennel. I have figured out that the kennel is a lot easier to clean and cheaper to keep clean. I don't use the shavings in it but I still use them in the rubbermaid. We put the poultry wire right above the tray and around the sides ( because some could walk in and out of the spaces) and I put a roost in there. I put newspaper, packing paper or whatever I have available on the tray and change it daily. The only problem is now some like to roost on the feeder and water and poop in both but they are starting to use the roost now. I can't wait to put the others in the kennel and out of the rubbermaid.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  3. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    [​IMG] Mine do the same thing! I have found that I can keep the shavings in the water to a minimum by putting the water up on a flipped over tupperware container. The chicks can jump up and stand on the container to drink and they seem to like the different height. As for the food... they ALWAYS act hungry! They are fine! If they are that starving then maybe they'll stop putting shavings in their food!! When I replace the food I do dump it in the shavings so they can peck around for it... seems to keep them busy for a while...

  4. chicnfarmer

    chicnfarmer Songster

    May 21, 2010
    Quote:same here - I put my waterer on a brick and still have to empty wet shavings out of the water 2x per day, but letting them scratch around for food seems less wasteful and gives them exercise. When it looks like they've scratched around in the shavings sufficiently to clean up most of the spilled food, I place the full one in. I wash the manure off of the feeder and waterer once every couple of days.
  5. mrsp523

    mrsp523 Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    Western Mass
    Not sure how high the brooder is, but if its high enough try a large brick, then they can hop up on that. I made a duplex for mine when they got bigger. They have a large area to hang out in, put dowels about 2" off the ground with lots of shavings, then connected a smaller box...I kept the food/water in the bigger box but thought about putting it in the smaller one if they kept making a mess of it. They liked to sleep in the smaller one at night. When my meaties came along I closed the door up (with a piece of cardboard) and gave the girls the larger space, and kept their cousins on the otherside. Amazing what you can do with cardboard boxes! Goodluck...
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    You can do away with the shavings and use All Purpose Sand ( you can get it a Lowe's )
    All Purpose Sand is the only thing I will use in my brooders..



    Jun 11, 2009
    Quote:[​IMG] That sounds like a very good idea--sand. How big a bag is it at Lowe's and how much does it cost? [​IMG]
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:[​IMG] That sounds like a very good idea--sand. How big a bag is it at Lowe's and how much does it cost? [​IMG]

    I pay around $ 2.60 for 50lbs if I get it at Lowe's. (you just have to make sure it is the All Purpose Sand and not the cement mix)

    I also would not recommend using Play Sand it would be much to fine and tends to hold to much moisture...


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