Messy Chicks!!! Keeping litter dry?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lolita117, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    So my little turds are quite the messiest things. I think they waste more water than they actually drink. I'm using pine shaving 2-3 inches deep and paper towels under the shavings to try and absorb extra water. I also had to put my waterer and feeder on opposite ends of my brooder because the feed they spilled really smelled bad when it got wet. I have my chicks in my house and I'm trying to keep their brooder as clean as possible (hubby doesn't like the idea of them being in the house). I know I can cut down on smell if I could keep the shavings from getting wet or if they would dry out quicker. I'm using a regular light bulb in a shade which keep the temp around 90. Any idea on a different type of bedding to use or different technique to keep the shaving from getting/ staying wet? Its not that its soaking wet but after I put brand new bedding in, it doesn't take a few hours before all around my waterer becomes damp. Plus I also fluff up the bedding 2-3 times a day, just whenever I notice its compacted.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I put the waterer, inside a plant saucer, on a piece of 2" x 4" lumber. It helps, but they still make a mess- it's just a smaller mess. [​IMG]
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    What about using puppy training pads under /around the waterer to soak up the wettness? I think I saw someone else here who did that.
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I had a glass turntable out of an old microwave that I don't have anymore. Turned it to the flat side up and set my waterer on it, not nearly as wet and messy as before. They also get less shavings in the water, too. I had to push the shavinigs back to make it set level on the bottom of the brooder but it works. My babies are in my living room too. The girls are able to almost fly out the top of my huge rubbermaid watering trough!
  5. CathyM

    CathyM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2011
    I've been using old tshirts as the bedding, rather than shavings... every day, I gather up the messy shirt and put down a new one. Put the shaken-out t-shirt into bleach water and then when I have about 5, I wash them. Like dirty diapers, in hot water. So I can "recycle". It's proving to be much less mess, smell and much less hassle than the shavings I used last time. Good luck!
  6. The Kibble Goddess

    The Kibble Goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2009
    Sylvania, Ga
    I'm using playsand for the first time and I can not believe how much cleaner everything stays. I scoop the sand into a sieve everynight and shake out the clean sand and put the poopies on the compost. I don't see any water spills as the brooder lamp dries them up quick. The poops aren't tracked hardly at all. When I scoop them they look like a miniature version of the hen's poops. I do add a few scoops of sand every other night. I have the sand about 2" thick. You might try the sand.
  7. Christine21656

    Christine21656 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2010
    Oakdale, MN/Somerset, WI
    I just switched to sand, too. They seem to like it so far - they were flinging the shavings up so high, it was actually kind of funny to watch! As for the water- I switched them over to a water bottle, like the kind hamsters use. It took them less than an hour to figure it out, and it is MUCH cleaner.
  8. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    Thanks so much for the replies. I will definitely try some of your suggestions.
  9. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    I had exactly the same problem! I took my moms advice and put a little saucer under the waterer... but it was still unstable and they spilled it. So I sneaked off with one of her fancy teacups [​IMG] and set it upsidedown on the bare bottom of the brooder, set the saucer upsidesown on the teacup (as you would have the set to drink from, just upsidedown) filled in the area with shavings to keep them from getting under it, and set the waterer base on top of that. Its quite steady (especially since I have it in a corner) and now with a few inches of shavings, the waterer is just at the perfect chick beak height. They actually seem to notice the water more and while they still are kicking some shavings in there, since its not at bedding level, it cant wick the water out. My beddings been dry for 3 whole days! I did the same thing with the food too and now they are spilling less of it (despite *someone* thinking its a great new perch - she cant balance and kick the food out at the same time) and since its up at eye level they are eating more frequently. My feeder/waterer are the same TSC ones as most... only I got mine in Purple! [​IMG]
  10. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    I couldn't really find anything glass, but I did find that a foam plate works really well. It ends up collecting a lot of water that would normally have ended up in the shavings. I have to empty it 2 times a day- btw I don't think I mentioned I have 2 baby ducks with my chicks too. I think they are the bigger culprits for getting water everywhere, lol.

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