how often to clean out brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 4urbanchicks, May 20, 2010.

  1. 4urbanchicks

    4urbanchicks In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2010
    We have 3 chicks and are using pine shavings in our brooder (96 quart plastic container), and after starting out with clean shavings, have been adding a couple handfuls of new shavings morning and evening. By the end of the third day, it was getting to smell, so I dumped out all the shavings and started over with new. Does this sound right? What are others cleaning routines? Also, can I use the dirty chips as mulch around my flower beds (non veggies or non-edible plants?)
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  2. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Songster

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    I cleaned mine daily only put shavings in 1 time a day and left it till the next day...

    When it starts to smell really bad is when I decided to put them out side in the coop.

    I have 3 babies left and 2 ducks that will remain in the brooder until I start smelling it reek ........then out they will go.
  3. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    I cleaned it out about 2x a week.
  4. I have used the pine shavings and wood pellets from the brooders under my fruit trees and in my canna beds...would not use it on veggies you plan to harvest in the next 90 days such as asparagus, strawberries, etc. Once my asparagus gets finished, I plan to mulch heavy with the poo/shaving/pellets and rabbit poo and let it breakdown over the Fall and Winter.

    I have my 22 chicks in 3 Chick-n-Hutches from TSC. There is a tray that catches the poo. I recently switched to sand in the tray instead of shavings or wood pellets. The sand is working great to dry the poo up...I use a scoop that is screen wire that shifts out the feed and any greens that drop through the wire bottom of the hutch. As time goes on I will take the sand and put in the run we are building and add new sand to the trays to freshen it.

    ETA: I clean the sand in my trays daily.
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Depends on how many chicks and the size of the brooder. I had my 5 chicks in a 3'x1.5' brooder for 2 weeks and cleaned it out completely only twice. I did add shavings each day and it never smelled. After 2 weeks I put them in a 4x4 brooder and do something similar although have never had to completely clean it out yet and they are 4 1/2 weeks old now. I add shavings each day which they love and then scratch away! Wth the weather getting so nice out we may be letting them out in their run this weekend and hopefully they will move into their coop by 6 weeks of age. [​IMG]
  6. DukesAngel

    DukesAngel In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    I think it just depends on how big and how many chicks you have in the brooder.

    I personally have 8 chicks in a 55 gallon fishtank and am doing my first cleanout this week with the bedding. I plan on keeping a weekly cycle of cleaning it out until they start to smell and then out to the coop with my two other birds they go.
  7. I use a wire brooder with a metal pan underneath that the poop and feed falls into. If I have just a couple baby chicks in there like I do now, evey 2 days or so. As they start getting older normally every day.
  8. Oldenburg Mom

    Oldenburg Mom In the Brooder

    Question regarding sand.

    Can I put that in the bottom of my brooder when it's time to change to shavings ... well, instead of shavings? It fits in much much better for my SOP, which is (horse) stalls ... which are merely giant cat litter boxes, and of course, the standard kitty littler box. I do know you can't use cat litter...but sifting through sand to get the poop would be much much much better.

    Plus, couldn't they use the sand for grit?

    Not trying to steal the thread,... just wondered.
  9. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Songster

    [​IMG] When I had 6 little biddies, we kept them in a 34-gallon plastic tote. Every day while those Little ones were exploring my lawn, we'd dump out & wash the tub & Let it dry in the sun. By 5 weeks, they were ready to move out to the big house(coop) honestly, WE were more ready to get them outside than they were! They'd constantly come to my door, waiting to come inside. I changed their minds by feeding treats in the coop, NOT at my door.
  10. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Songster


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