New Chicks on Old Litter?

GallopingGoat

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 7, 2010
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I have a hen that's been broody for three weeks, and the chicks are arriving today to put under her. I haven't wanted to disturb her, so have not cleaned the coop - the litter is old and dry, but dirty. Will the chicks still get coccidiosis? Would medicated feed prevent their contracting or suffering from it? Has anyone had a hen brood healthy chicks from a shared coop with not-pristine litter?

Thanks
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
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Jun 28, 2011
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It would be better to put mom and chicks in their own clean area for the first week or 2. If possible. It's not good for chicks to run around on dirt and poop.
 

donrae

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Jun 18, 2010
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My broodys are hatching babies as we speak and they're just in a communal coop that I use the deep litter method in. So, there's poo, and food scraps on the floor of the coop. My chickens have always been healthy so I don't really have any concerns. Personally I believe immune systems need to be challenged and babies of all types need to be exposed to the normal flora/germs of their environment.
 

Eggcessive

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Most broodies are in a next box they have been sitting in for a few weeks, so there's going to be poo and dirt. You can always add some clean shavings before the chicks arrive. Keep an eye out on your chicks because broodies can turn against a chick they know isn't theirs. Mine have been vicious against other hen's chicks this spring.
 

GallopingGoat

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 7, 2010
25
0
32
Vermont
Thanks all.

I ran out to the barn (where the coop is) and compromised - I put the large dog crate in the coop with clean shavings, so the litter the chicks will be in is clean. I moved the broody into it with her nest now in a shallow rubber feed pan that the chicks can get back into if they fall out. Now all I have to do is get her to accept the chicks, as the eggs she's been sitting on are infertile.
 

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