Raising chicks in a box somewhere in the house is not a very pleasant experience, at least after the first two weeks. Chicks are messy, and smelly if not constantly cleaned up after. This is difficult without a proper set-up. Without the right tools for any job means working twice as hard, and raising chicks is no exception.
Caring and housing chicks shouldn’t feel like a chore. The planing, building, and improving your set-up is half the fun. Just like anything else, once a hobby becomes a job it’s just not fun anymore.
After years of looking for an easier way to raise chicks on a budget, this is what I came up with.
I had an 8×10 bare bones shed built with one window, two air flow vents, and a double door. Then the finishing was up to me, it took probably close to two years to afford everything.
Today it has painted walls, a tile floor, electric, and a custom made brooder to accommodate 50 chicks comfortably. All my supplies are handy, and any mess sweeps right out the door. I actually enjoy spending time in my brooder shed. My cute chicks, a window fan, soft music, and a cup of coffee. That my friends is how to enjoy your birds!
Right at about two weeks old, baby chicks start knocking out the food in their feeders. It then ends up in the trash after they either poop on it, or we toss it when replacing shavings during our daily cleaning ritual.
Completely fed up with wasting feed, and money, I came up with this super easy solution. The chicks are still going to knock out their feed, that’s a given. But at least the feed can now be salvaged. ”
This feeder is merely resting on the bottom tray of an ordinary chicken drinker, raised to just a tad lower than the chick’s back. The feeder can be hung at any height, either way, the drinker base is a great catch-all for spilled feed. These chicks are two weeks old, as you can see they are not having any difficulty accessing their feed.
Have, or Expecting Baby Chicks?
Don’t forget to keep their fuzzy bums clean! Pasting up is common in baby chicks, especially shipped birds, and it can be fatal. Learn More
The answer is quite simple, the real question here is are you going to enjoy spending time with your chickens? If the answer is yes, then the time you spend will mostly be fussing over your birds. In other words, fussing over your chickens means you’ll not only be cleaning up after them, but find enjoyment in creating attractive and functional housing.
All animals require effort to keep clean, and if you neglect to do so, it’s a sure bet they’re going to smell. If you look at keeping chickens realistically, what else are you going to do with them besides pick eggs and care for their living environment? We don’t sit and pet them as a rule, and training them to do tricks is certainly not going to be a success story… instead, we fuss over their coops.
Bottom line, if you spend time with your birds, then no, chickens don’t smell. Fussing over your birds makes for a happy flock, and a happy flock is what fills the egg basket!
Here’s a few pics of my chicken set-ups… lots of fussing over chickens at TBN Ranch!