When can they go out?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TubbyChicken, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I have 7 chicks in a brooder downstairs and despite me cleaning the brooder every other day, dusting the entire room, using a mild bleach solution and adding fresh litter, they STINK. They're smelling up my whole house. I feel like we are living in a barn and I'm horrified at the thought of having visitors this holiday.

    So...What can I do? They're 5 weeks, I know they're not ready to go out yet and we don't have an option for heating the coop. I'm hoping that when they're fully feathered in a few more weeks I can slowly transition them to being outside by letting them spend a few hours in the coop.

    Considering they have each other to huddle up with and they will be well feathered at that point is my plan reasonable? Our temps are slowly dropping to freezing but vary between 50s-30s during the day.

    I have people coming this and next weekend. Any immediate fixes?
  2. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    Add some dry stall or baking soda to the litter to absorb the odor
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2008
  3. Without more info, may I suggest moving your brooder to the coop.

    Or moving them outside temporarily onto your porch in the brooder?

    so far in my limited experience that few chicks surely shouldn't STINK so much... but I've only brooded a few dozen total... over this year.

    try a different litter? or perhaps a different food? I've read some folks feel that certain chick starters/growers make their poop stink worse than others....
  4. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    Maybe try using Febreeze spray, Febreeze candles or Glade Plug-Ins??? We use a type of disinfectant that you can put into their water so that the smell of their poo isn't as bad. I believe you can also put it in a spray bottle for more immediate smell relief & spray it directly onto the pine shavings. http://www.cutlersupply.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_82&products_id=390 Maybe part of the reason you are having a smell problem is that there may not be enough fresh air to circulate the bad smells out of there since it's indoors/downstairs???...just a thought. I agree with what bodyflight said, if you don't live in a climate that's too cold right now, maybe moving them to a different location (out of the house) temporarily would help while you have holiday visitors. Would someone be able to be a foster mom to them for a few wks for you so that they wldnt be in your house?? [​IMG]
  5. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    Do not let anyone try to convince you that they "don't smell" - Ha! Chooks in the house stink. I once visited a work associate that had a litter box right off the diningroom. Barf. Poop does smell and it will gross out your guests...
    For my chicks, five weeks was the point of intolerance for me. Big nasty stink-a-roo! My thoughts for you are: Stall-Dry in the brooder, along with an air filter unit. (Is there anyplace, like a basement corner where you could contain them?) I used an air unit and it really helped. Keeping them in a room with a door that shuts is good. Make it a room that is not connected to your home's HVAC - better. If your furnace's air intake is in the basement, you are shooting the poo smell throughout the house. Something to check out.
    Another thought: put 'em in the garage with a heat lamp.
    I do like TaLani's idea about fostering them out. Do you have a friend with an enclosed porch or some garage space???
  6. Can you stick an infared heat lamp in the coop. I moved my silkies out when they were 7 weeks old, and I have a heat lamp on them 24/7?
  7. Quote:she cleans it every day! I can't imagine a few poops from only 7 chicks should smell that much... but if you say so..... [​IMG]

    edit: uh oh.. .I see she cleans it every OTHER day...
    well.. first clean it relentlessly... that's my advice then... no poop.. no smell!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2008
  8. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Thank you all for the suggestions. I do clean every other day...it's a huge job. Maybe I could clean less but make it an every day job. However, when I clean I remove the entire cage to get the poop off of the wire bottom, hose it down, etc...if I slack I notice the smell is more intense

    They are in the basement of the house (however the air circulates from down there to the upper part of the house I believe). They're in an empty shower in a closed bathroom. It's the safest part of the house for them (no cats, dogs or toddlers as regular visitors) however, it's unfortunately right beside the only guest room that we have available.

    We don't have a garage or storage building, otherwise they would be there! LOL

    We have two coops but neither have electricity and are too far from the house to run extension cords to...even more concerning, my dh is concerned that hooking up the heat lamp out there would be a serious fire hazard.


    These are the first chicks I've had inside and the larger they get the more they smell. I am literally horrified by the thought of family coming over to greet us and tour the new house with the scary "barn" smell lurking in the house. The upper level can be controlled with copious amounts of incense and candles, but I'm afraid to use them downstairs where they might affect the delicate respiratory system of the birds.

    I don't know anyone who would be willing to foster them. I won't be ordering chicks at this time ever again. A couple weeks of stink I can handle but this is way beyond my ability to repeat. LOL
  9. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    by the way...perhaps it's the food I'm using but there is WAY more than a "few" poops...we are talking about a lot of poop being generated in a 24 hour period. I am going to mix some stalldry in with the shavings (I use Aspen, no dust, scent free shavings) but they generally get mashed under the wire in a short amount of time anyway...I also have a giant piece of cardboard under the brooder that I line with newspaper that catches any fallen shavings. I throw that out and use a new piece every time I clean the brooder.

    The chicks are a mix of Buff Brahmas and Salmon Faverolles. They are almost completely feathered aside from some head fluff. Any idea of how much longer they need to be indoors?

    It's currently 67 F here, will get to a low of 30 by Friday but will be back up in the high 40s and low 50s by next week.

    Please someone tell me that they can go out soon LOL. I could always bring them back in on super cold nights. [​IMG]
  10. willowcol

    willowcol Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Macclesfield NC
    Well I know I am wrong, but I moved my Mutt chicks out at 5 weeks. I ran a heat lamp for the first few days, then noticed they stayed outside most of the day. So I started turning it off while they were out in the pen. A few nights later my husband went out and noticed they were sleeping on the roosts as far from the heat as possible. We haven't turned it back on and they are now 8 weeks and all fine. 1 day last week it got below freezing and they did fine. I think it all depends on the size of coop, how well it blocks drafts ect. That said I will be keeping my Silkies and Frizzles in til I know they will be fine, but I paid for the eggs for them. My Mutts were my own eggs. Oh I did have other hens in the coop I put the babies in and they didn't bother them at all. I guess I got lucky.

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