Please help me with my chicken bedding

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CuteCluckinChicken, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. CuteCluckinChicken

    CuteCluckinChicken Hatching

    Mar 25, 2019
    Hey guys, so I have 12 bantam chicks im raising who are 5 weeks old now. They are in their brooder and I put pine shavings down, 4 inches deep and they dig into the pine shavings, scratching them and kicking it away to look whats under. And the smell is really bad, I was told i can replace it once a week and theyll be fine, but its the third day and the smell is horrible. What can I do? I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you so much.
  2. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Wildlife Biologist

    May 4, 2014
    Newberry, Indiana
    I replace my bedding once a day with my ducks. With chicks I replaced once every three days with 30 chicks.
  3. CuteCluckinChicken

    CuteCluckinChicken Hatching

    Mar 25, 2019
    Ive read many sources that say replacing once a week works perfectly fine with no smell. Is there a specific way i need to put the pine shavings in? So they wont be able to scratch into it and dig into it? They like making holes in it and laying inside
  4. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Wildlife Biologist

    May 4, 2014
    Newberry, Indiana
    They’re gonna scratch, it’s a normal thing.
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  5. BY Bob

    BY Bob Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres

    Jan 1, 2016
    Hershey, PA
    Are they spilling water? Maybe the shavings are wet and that is enhancing the odor.
  6. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    Replacing bedding once a week might work for some that have a big brooder or less chicks than you. They may even use PDZ in the bedding. That would help with odors. What works for others, may not work as well for your situation.

    Chicks/chickens like to scratch, it's a natural instinct. They are trying to dust bath also, by digging holes and laying in it.
  7. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

    Oct 23, 2017
    Southern Arizona
    I use pine shavings (replaced once a week) with my chicks and have never had a problem with them smelling bad, except for when they spilled their water. It may not be obvious at first, but if shavings get into the tray of the water, it can overflow and soak underneath the shavings. Water, shavings, chick poo, and spilled food is NOT a nice smelling combo :sick
  8. barn206

    barn206 Songster

    May 4, 2017
    Upstate ny
    It may be wet feed stuck to the bottom . Is the feed near a heat lamp? The chicks at 5 weeks old may be ready for the coop.
    Any picture of your setup?
    BY Bob and Better Than Rubies like this.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Chicks are going to dig, it's normal and natural for them. It's also normal for them to throw food around and bump the waterer. The smell is likely a combo of wet + poop, which smells terrible. The last time I brooded indoors I was changing out bedding every 3 days.

    At 5 weeks old you should be looking into weaning them off heat to move them outside.
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Depending on your location they are ready to go to the Coop. I move all mine into my garage Brooder and then to the Coop by 3 weeks old. Chickens definitely stink.

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