Smelly chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newchickwi, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. newchickwi

    newchickwi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Butternut, WI
    We have babies coming in one week and will have to keep them in the house for a while (we had snow this past weekend, 18* this morning, and are supposed to have freezing rain this weekend...[​IMG]). Is there a way to keep the smell to a minimum? I had planned to keep the brooder really clean, especially since it would be inside the house, but the woman at the feed store said the smell will convince us to move them out soon! We do have a basement that is not too cold--about 60* and we do have a heat lamp--but there is little to no natural light down there--I call it "the cave." I see that many people keep their babies in the house to start--is it really that bad?

    Thanks!
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Unless you have a LARGE number of chicks its not that bad. The smell isn't too much of a factor until they get more than a couple weeks old and then you just need to clean more often.

    Keep their food and water dish elevated will help a lot too. After the first week, once they know where the food/water is, start putting it up on a board, or brick or hang it if you can to minimize billing out the feed and them spilling the water.

    Keeping the bedding as dry as possible helps A LOT with the smell factor.

    Now, the main annoyance for me is the dust from the pine shavings...I'd recommend keeping them in an easily cleanable area like a basement or I use my sun room.
     
  3. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I don't think it's all that bad if you keep the bedding clean. Pine shavings smell very nice and if you add a handful or more each day it is fine. I would clean all shavings out at least once a week and replace them completely. When they get older I think the odor increases, but not while they are little.

    Now the Cornish X chicks I have. No matter what I do, they smell....thankfully they are in the barn though so it's no problem.
     
  4. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    newchickwi Hi I have 34 one week olds in a brooder in my spare bedroom. I havent noticed much smell yet. But I am using old sheets in the brooder. Everyday I simply pull out the dirty and put in clean. Its so much easier to clean up than shavings. I hose off the sheets and wash them for later use, So far so good. You could try that. Micki
     
  5. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do the same as micki but I use old towels, I collect rainwater in buckets & toss the soiled towels in them for a presoak & then use the water on my bedding plants - nothing wasted.....
     
  6. NoSpringChick

    NoSpringChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    SE PA
    What a great idea with the towels soaking in rain water; then using that to water plants.....I learn something new everyday.

    I'm hoping to get new chicks soon.....Tractor Supply had day old chicks, but I'm not ready with the set up yet and I didn't know how many I would have to get to keep them all warm.
     
  7. ChelC

    ChelC Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Well, I had them in the house and only lasted two weeks. The first week I used paper towels, but I had to change them three times a day. I was keeping them in big plastic tubs, 6 chicks to a box. Even changing it out three times they walked in their poop and my cochins got it caked in their feathered feet. A few had troubles with pasty butts, but none have had that since going to the coop. They were crowded in the tubs so they'd constantly kick stuff into the water and food. Had to change the water 4 times a day. The second week I switched to pine shavings and pine pellets mixed. I put a paper towel where they tended to poop most, but that second week the smell really started bothering us. We moved them outside. It has been near freezing at night, but stays plenty warm in their coop with pine shavings and two heat lamps. They've loved it. They've stayed cleaner, they have more room, and no more smell!

    I would suggest a thermometer out in the coop under a heat lamp and maybe a second thermometer in the coolest area of the coop. See what it actually is like out there all warmed up. You may not really have much to worry about. It doesn't matter where they are as long as the conditions are right.
     
  8. ChelC

    ChelC Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    I should also mention that I have an overly sensitive nose, so maybe not everyone would be as bothered as I was. As neat as I kept it, one loose poop and it might as well have been a hundred. Bleh!
     
  9. Hampshire Hens

    Hampshire Hens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2008
    newchickwi, I made a brooder that is in our basement that has barely no natural light. It is a little bit cooler down there so I raised the floor of my brooder about 4 inches off the floor. It seems to help, especially with smells. I can barely smell them. I do have to change the paper towels that I have on the floor every day because they poop so much. Hope this helps!
     
  10. newchickwi

    newchickwi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Butternut, WI
    Thanks everyone for the words of experience. I think we'll start the in the house then move them to the basement if it gets bad. I think I'll try to wait till June 1 or so before moving them permanently outside--it's just so cold and windy now. Hopefully we can at least go outside and play for a bit now and then!
     

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