Am I the only one that doesn't use shavings??

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
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It seems like every other day there is a post on here with a newbie having problems with shavings. I've never used them because of problems with eating them, craw impaction, dust, moisture and at one time it seemed like noone used shavings, but now it seems like it's the only option anyone is aware of. Does anyone besides me use something other than shavings to make the newcomers aware of?

I prefer corn cob litter, but its gotten a little pricey, but for a few chicks it isn't expensive at all. I tend to raise 50, or so at the time though and its still worth it to me. One and a half fifty lb bags covers a brooder that is about 10-12 ft in diameter. It doesn't have to be changed often either because of the excellent drainage.


I haven't used pine pellets, but have seen them at TSC and they look like a good option, but they probably still hold a good deal of moisture compared to something that drains like cob litter.

I would use sand over pine shavings. There is a small risk of craw impaction, but it is more natural than shavings and the risk isn't as high. It offers really good drainage, which is something alot of people don't realize the importance of with chicks. Moisture will kill them early on quicker than almost anything. Its important their environment stay dry.
 
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GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
You can usually find it at TSC, mine didn't have any the last time I needed it, so I found it at the pet store. It was $15 for the big bag. They actually use it there for the baby parrots, its just that safe to use. It doesn't cost quite as much at TSC if you can find it. Any animal supply store should have it.
 

Daycare Mom

Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious
11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
1,122
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Conklin, Michigan
We have it at our local feed mill, you might want to check there. They are usually cheaper than the pet stores. It is great stuff, my friend uses it for her guinea pigs. They will snack on it a little until they decide its not really that good.
 

tx_dane_mom

Songster
12 Years
Sep 23, 2007
1,320
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SE Texas
i've never even heard of the stuff. Thanks for giving us another option. I've used hay and pine shavings, an both are so messy, I just let my guys go a-natural on a wood floor and clean it every couple days. I much prefer a litter, but it seemed the chicks didn't. I'll have to try that for sure...
 
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Barnyard

Addicted to Quack
12 Years
Aug 5, 2007
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Southwest Georgia
I use the pine shaving's a week after they hatch. I never had any problem's with it so far. I have a brooder with 30 chicks in it right now and they are doing good. So I guess it depends on what works for everyone.
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
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Michigan
I've used the cob bedding before, and it seemed like it didn't absorb much. With the pine shavings, moisture is absorbed and you can get rid of it, rather than goopy poo falling to the floor. JMO.

I use pelleted pine bedding for the horses and put a post on here awhile back asking if anyone else uses it; it's VERY absorbent, much moreso than pine shavings, but my worry is that they'll eat it, and it expands quite a bit when it's dampened.

I don't know as there's really a perfect bedding that'll do everything that we want it to do!
 

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
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That is the point though. You don't want it to hold moisture and be damp. Dampness is where bacteria grows, not to mention that it is hard to keep damp chicks warm. It needs to fall through to the floor. If you put a think enough layer, just couple of inches, it will fall through and your chicks stay clean and dry. This also goes for the waterer. The water they spill will drain right through and your brooder stays dry.

Thanks for posting that about the pine pellets. Thats what I thought they would do, but if its all you can find, I would still think it would be better than shavings, but you sure would have to change it often to keep things dry.
 

Ron

Songster
11 Years
Feb 22, 2008
130
0
129
Southeast Texas
I have always raised mine in a brooder that has a hardware cloth floor, keeping them in there from day one. Never had a problem. I put shredded leaves in the tray to catch the droppings. Never had a problem.
 

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