Nasty brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kat salamon, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. kat salamon

    kat salamon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I have 8 chicks about 4 weeks old. They destroy their brooder several times a day. I put newspaper on the bottom. I was putting paper towels too but those were adding too much junk. They shred everything! Sometimes I get home and their water if full of so much junk there is no water left. Any suggestions for something I can put in the brooder for easy clean up that won't be totally shredded and wind up in their water? Should I try hanging the water? Any suggestions welcome! Thank you!!!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How big is your brooder? At this age, I recommend that they have 2 s.f./bird. What are you using for bedding? If you can get that waterer hung so it is as high as their backs, they will not be scratching their bedding into it, and not as apt to foul it. It helps to rig it so that they can't jump on top of it. If you get the water problem solved, you can just use shavings, and add a new layer every day or so to freshen the litter. But, you have got to see to it that the bedding stays dry. I presume they are in your house? Have you weaned them off heat yet? At this age, they should be fine without heat, and you can start acclimating them to outside temps. It helps if you put your general location in your profile. By the time they are fully feathered, they should be off heat completely and acclimated to outdoor temps. Many of us brood our chicks outside from day one, using a heating pad. Check out the article in my signature.
     
  3. kat salamon

    kat salamon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! they are mostly feathered and I am working on weaning them off the heat lamp. I think I will try to buy a hanging waterer today. It has been raining so much here for once I haven't taken them outside and it has been really chilly for So Cal. Hopefully it will start warming up so I can take them outside.
    Thank you!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Knowing a bit more about your brooder might help. When my broody hens hatch chicks with the flock, they normally spend the first two or three days in the coop, which has wood shavings on the floor. The chickens scratch a lot so I know what you are talking about. I solve the worst of the shavings problem by putting a relatively large piece of plywood (about 3’ x 3’) on top of the shavings, then use a pet bowl with a platform around it for water. I fill it with rocks so the chicks can “walk on water” and not drown. I still need to clean the shavings off that plywood regularly.

    This photo shows a different one but might give you an idea what I mean by a platform around the bowl. It still has to be changed out daily because the chicks poop in it, but it greatly reduces shavings getting scratched into it. If they can poop in it or scratch stuff that has poop in it, you need to change the water regularly even if it doesn’t look that dirty. The life cycle of the protozoa that causes Coccidiosis involves two days in wet poopy conditions. If you keep your water clean and the brooder dry you greatly reduce your exposure to Coccidiosis.

    [​IMG]

    There are always different ways to do about anything. Whether you hang your waterer or set it up on a platform getting it up about the height of their backs will really help you with stuff being scratched in it.

    I admit a got a bit of a grin when you said you were in Southern California and were waiting for it to warm up. Not very nice of me I know. I know you’ve had rain, I’m not talking about that. Wet can be a problem. But you’d be amazed at what temperatures those chicks enjoy being outside. When it is dry enough, take them outside and watch them. They will let you know when they are cold. You may need a coat but they are wearing a down coat and at 4 weeks should be pretty close to feathered out.
     
  5. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am in So Cal too, in the mountains at 5300' so I am shoveling snow here!

    Welcome to BYC, no advice just saying hi!

    Gary from Idyllwild Ca here
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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  7. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My favorite thing to use for bedding can usually be found in pet stores in smaller quantities or at farm/feed stores for around $6. It's the dry pellet bedding- Nature's Choice is one of the brands, Dry Den is another-- anyways, I like it because it disperses moisture from their leavings quickly and reduces the smell very nicely I like to wet it down partially for them in the beginning - it dries fast- like to break the pellets down (like a cup of water will dissolve a bunch) so it's softer and comfortable to walk on. It breaks down into a finer form, and the chicks LOVE to dust-bathe in it, and they scratch in it and turn the bedding over, and it dries out pretty quick. Usually about 2" is plenty thick.

    Do you have any large flat rocks? If so, that can be a good spot to put the water- or a couple pieces of spare 2x4...
     
  8. kat salamon

    kat salamon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, sorry I was really sick the went out of town and meant to reply sooner! You know what? We pay a lot of money to be pathetic wusses when it comes to weather OK! :) Chickens are happily out in the coop and I am happy to have them out of my house! Thank you all for your help and suggestions!
     
  9. Turnip Farm

    Turnip Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    I know I'm late to the party, but I have my chick's and hens on water nipples. For the chick's I have them in a small animal cage from the feed store. It was part of their startrespective kit for chicks. As they grow I open the front door and attach a huge cardboard box and cover it with plastic fencing so they can't get out. But in the cage I have a bicycle water bottle holder wired to the cage. I put a plastic bottle in there with a tiny vent hole on top and put the nipple through the screw on cap, put the bottle in the holder. It keeps the water from getting nasty and they learn where to get water when they graduate to the big coop. Mine will be 3 weeks on Tuesday, English Orpingtons which are a bit slow to feather and still needing heat.
     
  10. kat salamon

    kat salamon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to get the nipple feeders too but they are pretty pricey. What kind do you have?
     

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