Keeping baby chicks in the garage...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OkieChickenGal, May 21, 2019.

  1. OkieChickenGal

    OkieChickenGal Songster

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    Hello,
    Does anyone know of a way to keep my garage from smelling if I keep my baby chicks in there for the first few weeks? I've kept chicks and ducklings in my garage before and the smell does get really bad.. Any input is appreciated!
     
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    My Coop
    Open the windows?
     
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  3. OkieChickenGal

    OkieChickenGal Songster

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    Even if I keep all of the doors open the smell still remains.. I am trying straw for bedding instead of hay this time, and I've noticed the straw doesn't smell like the hay does..
     
  4. BlessedmamaAELE

    BlessedmamaAELE Songster

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    I use pine shavings and clean every three days and it keeps the smell way down! Hardly smell at all. Hay and straw are messy in my opinion because it doesn’t Absorb at all, and they get poo all over them!
     
  5. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I have been keeping my 10 chicks in my attached garage in a garden utility dump cart which I converted to use as my temporary brooder. The chicks have been out there for 3.5 weeks now and there is no bad smell. What I used is about 2 inches of homemade wood chips from my chipper and fallen branches in the yard. I topped this off with about 1 inch of pine shavings. Every 3 or 4 days I stir up the bedding and throw a few handfuls of chips and/or shavings on top of the bedding. The chicks are at an age now where they are constantly scratching up the bedding themselves. So I really don't have to do that anymore. Anyway, the bedding is always completely dry when I stir it up and I cannot detect any bad smell. I have not removed any of the old bedding in 3.5 weeks.

    I should mention that my garden dump cart measures about 3 feet by 4 feet and I only have 10 chicks. The wood chips/pine shavings bedding is currently about 3 inches deep. I plan on keeping my chicks in the garage until they are 6 weeks old, so the bedding will probably be 4 or 5 inches by then. I live in northern Minnesota, and my unheated attached garage is about 60F. The cooler temp may have some benefit in keeping down any bad smell, but honestly, when I feed the chicks, all I smell is the cut wood chips and pine shavings. I could not be happier with my bedding choice for these chicks.
     
  6. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    We did the same and changed it every 2-3 days and it just smelled of shavings!
     
  7. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I am sure that would work, too. My goal was to try out the deep litter method, where you stir up the old bedding every once in a while and throw in new bedding on top. I only plan on cleaning out the old bedding twice a year, once in the spring and again late in the fall just before the snow falls. So far, I am very happy with the wood chips and pine shavings because the chicken poo is totally absorbed in the wood, dried out completely, and has no smell other than cut wood. I hope the deep litter method continues to work for me as the chickens get older. If not, I'll have to change my strategy. I don't want any bad smells.
     
  8. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I have raised ducklings twice before, and they just get everything wet and I can understand how that would smell really bad fast. I find my 10 chicks naturally keep everything drier as compared to the ducklings I had in the past. If you are only planning on brooding chicks in your garage, just the difference of not having ducklings might be a big difference in smell from your previous experience.
     
  9. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    I can see the appeal of this! If mine didn't free range we'd definitely be doing something like this for the older girls. I hate raking and replacing shavings out of the coop so I can't imagine the work a full run would become!
     
  10. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I plan on cleaning the deep litter once in the fall, after the garden has been harvested, and dumping all that litter directly on my raised beds to winter over. I'll work in that litter into the soil in the spring before I plant. When I clean out the deep litter in the spring, I'll put that fresh litter on the ground between the raised beds. That is my current plan.

    If that does not work, I plan on emptying the coop deep litter into the run and letting it compost on site, and then using that compost as needed to amend the raised beds. Either way, I would not let the run get full of deep litter because it would be too much to use at one time.

    Back to the question of the OP regarding bad smells, if you do deep litter and composting correctly, there should be no bad smell. Good compost smells earthy, and my deep litter (so far) just smells like cut wood. In the fall, I hope to mix in leaves into the deep litter. I have 3 acres of wooded land and lots of leaves. Leaves decompose faster than wood chips or shavings, but they don't smell bad either. I dumped bags of leaves in the garden last fall, and they don't smell bad at all. I was considering using leaves as my bedding method for my brooder in the garage, but I already had trash cans fulls of wood chips and a big bag of pine shavings. I have not had to purchase hay or straw for bedding, but I can't imagine either of them being as good/absorbent as either wood chips, pine shavings, or leaves.
     

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