keeping chickens clean

Lynnette

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
35
1
36
I just learned a valuable lesson with my 2wk chicks. I was cleaning the brooder once daily n found out it is not enough. The bottom of thier feet became crusted with poop. It took me 1 1/2 hrs to clean them with Dawn soap warm water n q-tips (LOTS of q-tips) From now on brooder is cleaned tid n when i do it feet will b inspected along with thier rears.If this helps another newbie the PIA was worth it. The chicks did get wet so i placed them in a cardboard box with the light on them until they were dry. This made them very thirsty so make sure they have water.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,043
581
Southern Oregon
Sounds like your brooder is too small to me. I've brooded tons of chicks and truthfully, just throw new bedding in when it gets icky. How big is your brooder and how many chicks?
 

Blue

Songster
9 Years
Apr 6, 2010
912
22
171
Virginia
What kind of bedding are you using? I use pine shavings, and while they do get poop on their feet occassionally, it never gets caked on and always comes off as they walk around. I also just add fresh shavings on top of the old ones when the shavings start getting smelly or looking icky, probably every few days or so. I had 17 chicks, mostly bantams in a roughly 3ft. by 2ft. cage.
 

Lynnette

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
35
1
36
I have fifteen 9 chicks n 6 quineas i am using pine shavings. They r in a 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub which is about2 × 3 ft. Maybe I'm not putting enough bedding down. I am just doing enough to cover the plastic bottom
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,557
6,887
516
middle TN
I have fifteen 9 chicks n 6 quineas i am using pine shavings. They r in a 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub which is about2 × 3 ft. Maybe I'm not putting enough bedding down. I am just doing enough to cover the plastic bottom


Much too small of a space. I'd use that for just the guineas and put the 9 chicks in a bigger space. I had four in a 3x3 and only needed to change the litter after a couple of weeks. It's a whole lot easier to maintain a brooder that's big enough.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,043
581
Southern Oregon
Agree with debid. Each chick needs about a square foot, and will need more as they grow. You need multiple brooders, or look for something like a large appliance box.

Put down a few inches of bedding. They'll scratch through it and dig the poo in, it won't be so messy. Then just top it off every few days, or when it starts to smell.
 

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