|Rhode Island Red pullet chick|
Enter week two. Starting to get smelly yet? Not yet? It will, very soon. Yeah, not so darling now.
Chicks grow amazingly fast during the brooding stage. They loose almost all of their baby fluff and grow their first set of feathers in three weeks. They eat a lot and poop even more, or so it seems. Lots of poo gets real smelly, real fast. Stay on top of the stink with these brooder tips.
1. Stir frequently. I always use pine shavings in the brooder. Pine shavings smell piney fresh and are easy to fluff. Stir at least once a day, twice a day during the third week of brooding.
2. Remove caked bedding. Rather than stir in caked droppings that have accumulated overnight, scoop out the obvious manure and stir the rest of the bedding.
3. Freshen by adding new bedding. A handful or two of fresh bedding daily helps keep brooder smelling fresh and clean.
4. Remove wet bedding at once. Water spills happen. Remove the wet bedding and replace with fresh.
5. Keep feeders at chest level. Chicks can easy dump their feed onto the brooder floor. Nothing smells worse that wet, soiled soybean meal! Real n-a-s-t-y!
6. Move chicks to coop when they are four weeks old. The chicks begin to use their feathers immediately after they grow in. They are ready to explore a bigger environment at this age. You can use a heat lamp in their coop for a few days to ease transition of the move.
By keeping your brooder fresh and clean, the experience of chick rearing is more enjoyable. Have fun with your little peepers. They grow and feather out so fast!