Has anyone ever just used dirt or sand in a brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Timmo, May 25, 2008.

  1. Timmo

    Timmo Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    Would plain old dirt or sand work as brooder litter for chickens? I mean, wild turkey chicks and other wild birds don't have fancy litter to run around on and they do alright. If a person kept the moisture level up so there wasn't alot of dust, and kept the poo spooned out or turned into it, would it work? Would the humidity of slighty damp soil cause any problems for the chicks?
  2. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

    Oct 27, 2007
    Southwest Mississippi
    I think you probably could if you had enough space. I had five pullets in a 3'x4' brooder until they were a month old. It sat on the ground on dirt. My plan was to just move it from one dirt spot to another when it got too dirty for them, but it never got dirty enough to move. It stayed dry in there. They lived there until they were about a month old. Some people may be horrified by that, but they are two months old now and looking fat & healthy and doing great. I moved them to a different coop when they were a month old.

  3. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    My meat chicks are on sand now. I laid paper towels over the top till they understood where the food was. A neighbor had theirs on sand last year without any problems. I had the heat lamp on 24 hours prior to make sure the sand wasn't cold. They peck at the sand a bit but I am having to refill the feed tray daily now so I think they got the idea ok.

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