When to change brooder bedding

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bobchristenson, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Our first week as chick-herders is under our belt. We've got the girls (4 of them) in a 20" x 30" rubbermaid, so it's probably a bit more room than they needed in their first week.

    I've got about 2" of wood shavings in the brooder and the "Chick Days" book I'm using as a guide says to clean it out around day 5. I'm wondering if this is really necessary so soon? I stir the bedding once a day and it seems pretty dry.

    Can I do a 'deep bedding' method in the brooder (add some more bedding, stir it up, etc) or, since they're so young and more sensitive to issues, should I actually clean all the bedding out and put in new?

    I want to keep my girls healthy but also don't want to throw away bedding that still seems perfectly good.

    At what point do you change brooder bedding completely? When it looks/smells like it needs it? A little guidance would be wonderful.

  2. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    I go with the "When it looks/smells like it needs it"
  3. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Johnstown Pa
    I clean my brooder out once a day. But it's located in my bedroom and it a 50 gal container. I'm looking into getting a bigger one. Or just a box.
  4. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    We use the bedding pellets which are pretty absorbent so we would only spot clean as an area became messy. In 6 to 8 weeks of brooding we never completely change out the bedding. If it's dry, not smelling bad, and the chicks are clean, then don't worry about it. I would make sure that the waterer and feeder and always clean.
  5. dreamer5577

    dreamer5577 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    When they're littler I sometimes go a whole week. But when they're older .. I find I need to clean it once a day to avoid the smell.
  6. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Johnstown Pa
    I should rephrase myself, when they are young, i normally go 2 sometimes 3 days. But, once they hit 3 weeks. It's every day.
  7. Katieasaur

    Katieasaur Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2012
    I have always done it once a day just to inhibit the grow of bacteria in case someone pecks themselves to hard and gets a cut, no infections please
    plus I am slightly overzealous at times when it come to my animals
  8. Hoosierchickens

    Hoosierchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2011
    Cloverdale, IN
    This is what I do. I replaced the wood chips in my rubbermaid brooder similar in size to yours but with 12 chicks after a couple weeks. They are now in a cattle trough in the garage and I do a deep litter method and they are doing just fine.
  9. uptail

    uptail Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2012
    Southern WV
    I have 12 baby chicks in a large cardboard box a new bathtub came in previously. I found I have to change the bedding once every two days at a minimum. Most likely because I have many more little mouths (and butts!) in mine. lol
  10. primalchick

    primalchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    Keep in mind that I'm a newbie to chicks, but mine are almost 3 weeks old and I completely clean mine out and replace the bedding every second day. Might seem like a lot but they are in the house right now and I want to keep the smell down. I think I could go longer if I wanted to and they'd be fine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by