The SMELL!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nolagal, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Nolagal

    Nolagal Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to help the smell of the chicks before we move them outside? I change their bedding every other day. Thanks!
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Greetings and [​IMG]

    Bit odd, there shouldn't be any smell if they're healthy, or only the very mild and clean scent of a healthy animal. Never a stink of any description.

    Is it their poops? Have they been kept in a really unventilated place so their feathers are stinking of ammonia, perhaps? Do you disinfect their coop or cage or box or whatever it is in any way, or could it be residue under the bedding making the stink?

    Lime (calcium carbonate not any of the caustic ones, but the one that's safe to add to their feed for additional calcium) is good at controlling stink, so is bicarbonate of soda.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    I assume you mean the smell in the house from their poop rather than the smell of the chicks themselves. If so, feeding them fermented feed is very beneficial in this respect, is also good for their digestion and is really easy to do. Just put their dry feed in a container, cover it with about an inch of water, add a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) with the mother and give it a stir. Put a lid loosely on the container so it can breath and leave it at room temperature for a few days, stirring each day and adding more dry feed or water to make it a nice thick dropping consistency, like cake mixture. You can then take some out to feed to them and add a bit more feed and water to the container to replace what you removed, give it a stir and just keep going like that. For a few chicks, a mason jar or a litre ice cream tub is probably all you need. Leave plenty of room for expansion, as it will rise up a little as it ferments.

    Hope that helps.

    Regards

    Barbara

    PS. It may take a couple of days for them to get used to wet food instead of dry, but once they do they will love it and best of all, there is much less waste, as they don't scatter it about like their dry crumbs..
     
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  4. Nolagal

    Nolagal Out Of The Brooder

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    I definitely think we need some more ventilation. Its been pretty cold so we haven't been able to open and windows. Its just the basic smell of them pooing. Will definitely be opening a window or two as it gets warmer. I may try the calcium as well! Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. Nolagal

    Nolagal Out Of The Brooder

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    I am talking about the smell of their poop. Not the birds themselves. Gotta try the wet food as well. Idk if it will work in the feeder I have right now. We're building their coop next weekend but can't move them for a couple more weeks. Thanks again!
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Healthy poops don't stink either though; I would really recommend at least soaking their grains, or fermenting or sprouting them if you're inclined.

    Not only does it make the nutrients much more bioavailable and digestible, so the chooks are healthier, it means they get more out of every kilo of food, so less is passing through their bodies undigested, and you save a lot of money. Really not soaking grains is basically throwing money away.

    In my experience, just soaking the grains overnight or for a few hours can be the difference between going through $50 every 2 weeks, or $50 every two to three months, for my flock (which at this point is almost entirely hens in lay).

    It can represent BIG savings in feed, but more importantly it makes them quite a bit healthier, as good nutrition does, which will avert many of the common and fatal health issues they will face as all chooks do. Which translates into big savings in lives potentially lost, and potential medical bills. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure, not a pound!

    Nutrition is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal, without it no amount of external bandaid solutions are going to save your chooks.

    "Complete" diets of pellets or crumble are not great because they're all cooked which by now most people know is not ideal for full health of any species; cooked proteins, cooked oils, etc...

    Their idea of 'complete' is survival rations sufficient to keep them alive for about 2 years, the usual 'use-by' date. Which means it's not a complete spectrum of nutrients that most brands offer, just the barest minimum, often in crap, crude or poor quality or synthetic form, and your chooks end up with avoidable diseases of malnutrition.

    Start them good and they can go for a long time, start them badly and it can be impossible to correct later on. They're building themselves out of what they're being fed now; best to make it quality if you want health and longevity.

    Best wishes.
     
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  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You can use any old shallow container, lid or tray (well, foodsafe ones anyway lol, nothing harmful) or just dump it straight onto dirt (provided you know it's not harmful contaminated dirt, lol, all commonsense stuff of course).

    I would also recommend adding garlic to their diet while you shift them outside, as they will be exposed to a lot of potential pathogens and their immune systems are 'naive' due to lack of previous exposure, and if they've been on a cooked diet, will be lacking robustness.

    You can just add a clove per 5 chicks or so, doesn't have to be heaps, won't hurt them, can and does save lives. Freshly minced raw garlic is best, fine enough for them to swallow it easily. Doesn't have to be more than once a week, can be every day if you feel the need or if they really crave it that much.

    It contains many natural and powerful antibiotics, and sulfur, and it's all I've ever used for coccidiosis prevention and I've never had a single case despite raising chicks on the same ground that hundreds of other birds have been raised on, and currently live on. For some chicks, adding it to greek yoghurt (unflavored and unsweetened) helps get them used to it, for others, you can add it to scrambled or hardboiled egg, but I just add it to the feed. It's the first thing they pick out.

    The soaked feed apparently helps prevent coccidiosis too, well, everything that makes their guts healthier will help of course.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. Vian

    Vian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's odd, because my chicks started off in a rubbermaid bin in my bathroom. They smelled of pine shavings and a little bit like dust, but there was no other smell, not even of their poop. I found the poop dried up pretty quickly and then was odorless. Now they're outside in the coop and it's the same, pine shavings and dust, and the poop dried up quickly thanks to the dryness of our air here and the absorbent pine shavings. I also used to have a pet cockatiel and his poop was totally odorless as well, even when fresh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like your animals had good gut health Vian. That can compensate for a world of 'insults' as doctors and vets used to call attacks on health. Some still use that phrasing, I always found it a bit amusing but also correct.

    A good start and a good diet can and do make all the difference. I've reared a few animals with terrible starts and gut health truly is massively important to immune function and everything else as well including neurological function. Those that were started badly tend to remain delicate.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  10. Nolagal

    Nolagal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Hartsgrove, Ohio

    I have changed them to wet food and things have been a lot better. No more weird or bad smell!!! Thanks again everyone!
     
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