How much poop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by valkenar, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. valkenar

    valkenar New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2013
    Marlborogh, Ma
    This comes down to "when do I change the litter?"

    I'm not going to ask how often because I know that depends on the number of chicks (5) and the size of the brooder (20-25sqft or so), the type of litter (pine shavings), depth (currently 3"), etc. What I'm going for is sort of: how poopy should it look? Five minutes after I put in a new layer it looks at least kinda poopy, but a day later it doesn't look all that much poopier because they're working the old stuff down. So maybe what I'm trying to ask is "what percent poop" am I aiming for, int he sense that if I take a random scoop and look at it, how much poop should I see? 1%? 5%? 50%?

    Sidenote: I enjoy catching bugs for them to eat, but I'm pretty sure they lose calories on it since whenever I throw one in, a chick will pick it up and then run around like crazy for the next minute or two trying to escape all the other shameless thieves she's suddenly surrounded by.
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    My Coop
    Quote: [​IMG]

    Sounds like you are having a great time with your chicks. Are you feeding the medicated feed? I read the label on my Purina Start and Grow Medicated Crumbles and was surprised to see an admonition not to change the flooring. If you are worried about the smell, you can mix a little bit of Sweet PDZ in the pine shavings. It will kill the smell. It's a non-toxic horse stall sweetner available at feed stores, tack stores, etc. Don't worry about them chasing each other. It is good exercise for them. Like kids at recess. They can always come back and eat some more chick feed.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  3. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The play gets a lot rougher when they start setting the pecking order at about 3 weeks. They usually won't actually hurt each other but they get pretty rough and tumble. I would "stir" the shavings everyday when mine were in their brooder. The droppings will dry out faster and not smell as much. When to change them is kinda up to you, shouldn't be a big problem considering the number and size of the brooder.
     
  4. valkenar

    valkenar New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2013
    Marlborogh, Ma
    Doesn't smell like much at the moment. Mostly the same as the shavings by themselves. I just don't want any health issues. Our current bag is non-medicated, but I could persuaded either way. I tend to favor an organic type approach, though I don't consider medicine for them off-limits. I haven't read enough about the reasons to use medicated or unmedicated to form a strong opinion. What little I have read suggests that people use either and get by just fine. As for the play, I'm not actually worried about it, I think it's fun to watch. Good point about the pecking order though. My rhode island red's neck is getting a little bare, but fortunately there are no cuts or anything. I originally had them in a smaller box inside of the bigger enclosure and was planning to open it up a bit later, but when I saw the Red's neck I figured I should give them a bit more space now.
     
  5. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    More room is always better as long as they have an area where they can warm up. Until feathered Chicks can only regulate their body temperature by moving to a warmer area or huddling together. Sounds like you made the right decision. Mine only needed the heatlamp for about 3 weeks and wanted it no more.

    You can make your own decision on the un/medicated feed. The only added ingredient in medicated is a small dose amprollium to help prevent coccidiosis.(hope I spelled those correctly).It stays only in the gut and not the bloodstream.

    I had about 6 inches of bedding in my brooder and stirred/fluffed it daily. First batch lasted about 3 weeks. The second only about 2 weeks but they moved outside to the run and it was thrown out. When it get so you start seeing poop after you stir/fluff it then it would be a good time to change it.
     

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