Bedding For Incubator????

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Echoes, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Echoes

    Echoes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    So right now, at the bottom of my incubator, I just have towels placed there so the eggs are on something soft. I noticed alot of people have 'chicken wire' type bottoms on theirs. Just wondering if, after they hatch (or even before), it would be better to have something else there instead of a towel.

    Maybe some type of bedding, like for hampsters. Ya know, those sedar chips or that soft cotton-ball type bedding?

    Or maybe something else... you tell me.

  2. livin-green

    livin-green Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2008
    Clay, Alabama
    I'm not planning to put any bedding in my incubator, but I will use something in the brooder. I'm not positive what I will use just yet, as I don't want them to be tempted to eat any of the pine shavings. I am considering shredded newspaper for a few days, then kiln-dried pine shavings.

    I could be wrong, but I believe I read that you absolutely do not want to use cedar for chickens--probably because of the possibility of the aromatic oils that are in cedar shavings/chips causing irritation and respiratory problems. Same thing goes for small critters like hamsters and guinea pigs....even though packages and some care sheets say you can use cedar.
  3. Echoes

    Echoes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Kk. So a towel will be fine for the incubator, right? They don't need something more rough to grab onto?
  4. ozzie

    ozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2007
    I use those anti-slip mats that you can buy from dollar shops - the stuff you put in your drawers. They give the chicks a good footing and are easy to remove and wash after hatching.

    [​IMG] ozzie
  5. chuckyjo

    chuckyjo Out Of The Brooder

    Mine had a plastic hatching tray, but this was really slippery and they couldn't walk or turn themselves around when they fell over! So I just put a piece of washcloth in there and they were fine and cosy!

    Same as your idea!

    Now they are in the brooder I put the same piece in there for comfort and familiarity.

    In the brooder I use the piece of washcloth, wood shavings and some hay to get them accustomed to it. My last batch of chicks thrived this way.
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I also use the perforated, rubbbery mats sold in stores here in the US as shelf-liners. I cut a piece to fit the incubator, and so far they have not affected the humidity or temp adversely. I also cut a couple of tiny holes to allow me to easily add water to the trays underneath.

    I like this much better than having my chicks hatch out on wire mesh. It is also much easier to clean up afterward.

    You can see a pic or two of this mat on my blog; just scroll about halfway down the post - -
  7. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I use the shelf liner as well. When I remove the eggs from the turner I fill the water trays, lay down my shelf liner put in eggs and then add a sponge or two to up humidity. [​IMG]
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Quote:The only thing I suggest is the wire to raise the chicks off the the floor of the incubator because in the end you have to flood the floor with water to increase your humidity for hatching. Cover the wire with a peice of shelf liner to protect small feet.

    Cedar chips are a HUGE mistake. Breathing in the fumes from cedar is toxic. You'll have an incubator full of chicks with respiratory issues that can and will kill them.

    Besides that, anything you put in there that gets wet will grow mold and bacteria that can also cross the shell and kill the developing embryo before it even gets a chance to hatch.

    I would have to suggest taking out your towel as it can also block and restrict the proper air flow int he incubator. The eggs 'breath' meaning they exchange gases with the air around them. Improper ventilation will also cause embryoes to die.
  9. jay1995

    jay1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    St. Augustine, Florida
    That stuff would be sticking to them also.
  10. Echoes

    Echoes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    K, I going to pick up one of those mats either today or tomorrow.

    ...Thanks for the help!

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