My chicks are poop machines!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tigerjane, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    They were with me just over 48hrs before their first brooder cleaning, which happened last night around 9pm. As of today, 5:30pm, they've already exceeded the amount of poo they produced their first two days! The brooder is all gross! Will the amount just keep increasing as time goes on? How often does everyone else clean their brooder, cause I'm already looking at every 24hrs, and I will probably end up doing it twice a day even if they increase their output only a little bit more. I don't think there's anything wrong with them, it caught me by surprise, since I've done a ton of reading on here and it seems like I missed the threads mentioning just the sheer amount of poo that comes out of these little chicks, lol. I have 3 bantams and 5 regulars in a 20inx40in box. Good thing I left the rubber gloves and paper towels out from last night!
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers


    .... sorry... just made me smile. Yes, all chicks are poop machines. Little piggies eating like crazy and pooping the same.

    My suggestion is to use the deep litter method in the brooder. Just put down about an inch of pine shavings and occasionally toss a handful over the wet poops. Put the waterer up on a brick so the chicks don't kick as much litter into it. OR, change to a nipple waterer - NO water mess, no poop or shavings in the water!

    The chicks will scratch in the litter, do little dust baths, keep it stirred up. Each week add more (than the occasional handful mentioned above) and you don't have to clean the brooder anywhere near as much. Just wipe down the walls, clean the feeder and waterer, keep pine shavings handy. I changed the brooder pine shavings out, entirely, only ONCE in eight weeks, because it was getting REALLY deep.

    The pine shavings dry out the poop and keep the smell down, trust me. No fooling with newspaper shredding, or paper towels, or any of that stuff. It's easy.
  3. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    It boggles the mind, doesn't it? The pine shavings help - you just stirr them up and add more to the top when you need to. From what I've read on here, Buff Orpingtons (when adults) poop really 'big'; almost the size of what a small dog would do! So enjoy your little 'poopy peepers', its gunna be harder to find a cute term for '' when they're older....
  4. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    I bought Pine shavings with the thought I was going to change them over this weekend - I'm just shocked at how much poo they've produced in 20hrs! Truly amazing. I'm putting a layer of paper towel under the shavings. They've been pretty good about their waterer, but then I have a VERY narrow opening around the saucer rim for them, and it's raised. I've just been putting the food down on the floor of the brooder. I tried a container, and they scratched it all out within an hour, and it seems to give them something to do to walk all over scratching and munching. It's really cute how they can just sloooowwly droop over in the middle of eating.
  5. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    I'm definantly going to switch to pine shavings. Sheesh... [​IMG] I had no idea they were this... proficient. I've already gone through a roll of paper towels. This sounds like a perfect solution. [​IMG] Thanks for asking TigerJane! Otherwise I would have been felling whole forests to keep these gals in clean digs. Maybe I'm a little manic about clean, but I can't take watching them peck at their own waste. [​IMG]
  6. hokankai

    hokankai Songster

    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    LOL I hear ya! It hasn't even been 24 hrs and they've thoroughly covered the floor several times. I'm using puppy pads right now, will use pine starting tomorrow night, and I've just been changing out the bottom when it gets really disgusting. I've got 8 in a 4x2.5 cardboard box and it's working nicely. 2 (free) puppy pads on the bottom for now changed morning and night for the most part. Enjoy the short tiny poop time! Soon it's going to be a whole lot bigger! haha
  7. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    Quote:In another thread on here someone posted a link to a site that had a whole bunch of pictures of what different types of chicken poop look like, so you could see if your chicken's poop is normal or not. I was shocked, SHOCKED, at the size! It's like dog poop! Having never been the caretaker for chickens, I just had no idea. I assumed it would be like wild bird poo but slightly larger . . . . WRONG. Doesn't dissuade me from getting more though, I'm just better informed about what the future holds [​IMG]
  8. jeb251

    jeb251 Songster

    Mar 24, 2009
    Fort Wayne
    I use sand, you can clean it with a kitty litter scoop, and when it gets smelly, you can wash it by putting it in a 5 gallon bucket and putting the garden hose in it, or just put it in the garden and put new sand in, I love it, I am building six coops now and am going to use sand in the runs and possibly in the coop as well
  9. jenn-E

    jenn-E Chirping

    May 6, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    I agree with using the "deep litter" method in your brooder. I don't stir, I just add clean pine shavings on top. I have their feeder & waterer up on bricks, & I just add extra bricks as needed as the pine shavings get deeper. I do think their poop gets drier after the first few days, but then in a few short weeks they get A LOT bigger, and have bigger poops to go with their new size.
  10. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    I've had my big girls on the same litter since they were day olds, it was moved to their coop and stirred in with some fresh.

    I removed some of it early this spring for use in the compost piles and the garden.

    I put my newest girls on fresh litter and used the brooder litter as the base layer for our Rhubarb patch which got moved (and expanded) to make room for the new coop and run addition.

    In short the deep litter system is great. You just keep adding new shavings and once in awhile remove the well shredded and decomposed stuff for use in the compost pile. The chickens will even mix it up for you if you toss scratch on it.

    Just be certain that before planting anything in it that the manure is well composted and mixed in.

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