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5 day old chicks eating shavings

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

My three little chicks are now 5 and 6 days old. I've had them on layers of paper towel on top of some shelf liner. Tonight I tried putting pine shavings in the brooder for the first time. They went nuts. I watched for about 10 minutes and they were definitely eating the smaller pieces they found, not just pecking at it. I watched carefully to make sure I wasn't panicking but they were definitely swallowing some of it. I took it all back out and put in more paper towel. Should I wait a few days and try again? Thanks!

the invisible nutmegger
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the invisible nutmegger
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post #2 of 33

I use paper towels too. It seems like all my little buggers eat it.

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Make it a great day!
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post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinenot 

I use paper towels too. It seems like all my little buggers eat it.


For now it just seems safer to me. Sigh. It sounded so easy!

the invisible nutmegger
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the invisible nutmegger
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post #4 of 33

In my brooder I put down a layer of shavings. I cover those with paper towels. After 3 days I take out the towels. Instinctively they scratch and peck. I always dump out some starter crumbles so they have something to scratch and peck. I have never had them eat so many shaving peices that it caused problems.

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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
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post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 

When I have time to sit and watch them this weekend I will try again. They're just so tiny! I'll leave the paper towels on top for a bit so they can get used to the smell of the pine. I know I'm probably just being an over cautious newbie but I couldn't take watching my tiny little silkie baby gleefully gobbling 6 or 7 pieces in a row! I'd never be able to get through the day tomorrow worrying about it!

the invisible nutmegger
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post #6 of 33

Our chicks are four days old now.  We put about an inch of pine shavings down from the start, with paper towels on top.  Last night, we decided to take off the towels.  The chickies went NUTS!  They scratched and nibbled until they wore themselves out.  After that, it was like the thrill was over and they stopped nibbling it.  Tonight we found a baby cricket in the yard and threw it in the brooder.  It was gone in a second!pop  Then, we threw in about half a teaspoon of rolled oats.  They have been scratching around non-stop for about an hour!!  I can already tell that it will be a blessing to have these 15 chicks using our land as an all-you-can-eat buffet!yippiechickie

1 wonderful mini schnauzer (one Boston soon to come), two cats and lots of chickens!!

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1 wonderful mini schnauzer (one Boston soon to come), two cats and lots of chickens!!

My page link: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=6791
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post #7 of 33

I have always just used paper towels...they always eat it...the first time I used shavings I waited till they were 5 weeks old since they REALLY knew what their food was. Well I put them in their pen with the pine shavings went inside for about 20 minutes when I went to see them they were all dead except for two...they had eaten pine shavings and poof 12 healthy boisterous babies dead...I was able to save the 2 and that was it  sad   (not everyone has that experience but I will never use pine shavings again)   (before anyone asks questions I've been raising chickens for a LONG time roll )

missing our flock and ready to have a few chickens again
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missing our flock and ready to have a few chickens again
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post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 

Wow, guess I will stick with paper towels rather than risk that!

the invisible nutmegger
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the invisible nutmegger
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post #9 of 33

I've raised hundreds of chicks on paper towels and then add my wood shavings...never had a problem....

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Smith/Giles "project" Lavender Orpingtons, Spring of 2012 Part English "project" Lavenders , Part English BBS Orpingtons, Buff Orpingtons and Bantam Light Brahmas.  Follow me down the yellow brick road!!! 

I'm holding out for the gold star !!!!   

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post #10 of 33

Try corn cob bedding..you can get it at tractor supply...its pelleted.  Its a lot cleaner than paper towels.  Its safer than shavings.

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