My dirty chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DangerChickenHouse, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Songster

    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Help! I need some newbie advice.

    1) Water
    This is what I use. It was great at first. But, now that my babies are nearing the two month mark, it is absolutely disgusting. YES, I empty it every night and refill it with fresh water every morning. I think they are perching on it or on top of it or maybe scratching the ground near it. I dunno. HELP! What should I have done?

    2) Dirty Feet
    Seriously. It's gross. I have 4 baby chicks running around 8x8 feet of run. They also have places to perch and get up high all over the run. I go in to sit and hang out often, which means they hop up to say "hello" with poopy feet. What can I do to make it cleaner?

    3) Bugs
    Flies and mosquitos are starting to live in the coop. What gives? Aren't my chicks suppose to be eating them?

  2. LovinChicknFarmn

    LovinChicknFarmn Chirping

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Carolina
    The flies and mosquitos will persist. We got a fly trap that lures hem in the then they get stuck in there and die. Works great. I've also heard that basic vanilla car air fresheners work well for keeping flies away. We have a few out there and it does seem to help a little. I rake or shovel out the poop in the run a few times a week and then do a good clean out over the weekend to help cut down on the flies. You have tone careful and keep clean in the summer because the flies will lay eggs on the chicken poop and you'll get maggot in their. Gross, I know. These are the things no one tells you about raising chickens. It sure is glamorous. HA! If you hear of any good ideas for mosquitos let me know. I've yet to get a handle on them. The thing is, the chickens do eat some of them, but seem to get used to them being there and just ignore most of them.

    As for the waterer, it's about time to get a hanging waterer probably. That'll help.

    For the dirty feet, are they in an area that's staying dry? I'm a little stumped by that one. If they've having access to dry dirt, they shouldn't be that gross. Are there too many for the amy of space? I've never had that problem.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Had the very same issue and complaint then I hung the water unit. No Chips, no poop and stays very clean.

  4. Kaelinstorm

    Kaelinstorm Chirping

    May 17, 2011
    I agree with the hanging water thing. Quite possibly its causing the dirty feet too. If they are trouncing in it their feet would be wet and collect stuff. Not to mention at 2 months old they may need a larger water supply than those little things. I find the plastic bottles also seem to get crudy because it easily sticks to the sides. As for the bugs, I dont know Ive never had a problem... maybe its because mine are free rangers and their poop is expanded over my .35 acres and the surrounding neighbors yards. My bug population seems very minimal outside (now if only I could let them indoors to grab these stupid cockroaches looking for water in this stupid drought! LOL
  5. CinnamonQueen12

    CinnamonQueen12 Chirping

    Jul 20, 2011
    My mom had this amazing idea of taking little bricks, maybe 3 oor 4 inches by maybe 3 or 4 inches, and raising the water off the ground with them. Works pretty well. Dirty feet? Take warm, wet paper towels and quickly wash them off every day or so. Or just let it go. They are chickens, and they are always going to be in the dirt. Bugs? We live next to a pond and a slow moving stream cuts pretty much through our backyard. Mosquitoes? Everywhere! The flies go away because I spot clean the coop every morning after I let the chickens out. I take an old plastic children's shovel and a small plastic rake and rake out the chunks of poo and turn over the pine shavings and add more. You really can't do much with the mosquitoes exept don't go out at night!
  6. Honeysucklefeathers

    Honeysucklefeathers Songster

    Jul 19, 2011
    western KY
    Raise the waterer and make sure coop is dry. I use deep liter method and don't have dirty feet. Shouldn't be dirty unless your liter is wet? Maybe from the waterer?
  7. Lil'ChickFarm

    Lil'ChickFarm Chirping

    Jun 27, 2011
    I bought some of the red water spouts on ebay and took an icecream bucket and put them on the bottom. Then i hung it off the end of their roost. They drink from it fine.
    I also hung up their feed bucket from the ceiling, so that it is off the floor. It is a no mess feeder.
    I let them free range for many hours of the day, so not much poo is in their house.
    I have shavings in there to absorb the poop and some straw loosely in there too for them to play around with. They mostly poop near their roost and dust bathe in the corners. I have not noticed dirty feet, but if your water is on the floor, and feet get wet, that will do it.
    I bet if you get a water bucket and more shavings, they will be better.
    I have seen flies and hate those, but that is farms. Even horses and cattle deal with flies.

  8. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Songster

    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I guess I should have said run - there is no food or water in the coop. My coop is raised off of the ground and I keep it below the coop. But, it looks like I need to hang my waterer! You are right! It only makes sense for their feet to be dirty if their feet are getting wet.

    They haven't started free ranging yet. I need to fence off part of my yard. I guess maybe I should get on that. [​IMG]
  9. countrycluckerskaren

    countrycluckerskaren In the Brooder

    May 14, 2011
    Block up the food and water so it is about 'shoulder' height to the birds. This will keep it generally clean. You can rig something on top of it, like a funnel upside down so that they can't sit on top of it.

    Dirty feet.....comes with the territory of an outside run. Stir the coop litter to keep it absorbing and drying, clean it out about twice a year and put down fresh litter. I use pine shavings in my 8x8 coop and it takes 3 bales to put a good layer down. If the run is muddy they will have dirty feet not much you can do with that. You can put leaves/grass clippings etc down in the run to help with the dirt but there really is not much you can do with it.

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