bedding in brooder--what to use?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sandhillchick, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. sandhillchick

    sandhillchick In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    I want to put something on top of the newspaper that I am using on the floor. What do you recommend? I have heard of pine shavings. Is that the same as pine bedding at the pet store? Obviously, this is my first time with chicks!
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    You are good to ask about covering the newspaper. Newspaper is too slick for baby chicks to stand on initially. It can cause leg problems. I use pine shavings. If you use wood shavings make sure they are NOT cedar - very bad for chickens. Pine shavings - pine bedding - same things different words.

    Cover the pine shavings with papertowels for a few days so that they learn the chick feed is food and the shavings it not food. After 3 days to a week remove the towels and just use the shavings.

    Enjoy your new chicks. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I use a pine shavings that says "big flakes" on the package and they sure are. Bigger than any of the pine shavings we used with other critters; which were more like sawdust. I'm not sure if the big flake stuff cost more, it was all the store had at the time, but even if it was I think it's worth it.
  4. professor-yellow

    professor-yellow Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    A persian rug dealer got rid of all the burlap that the rugs were covered in for shipping. So i have a pile of burlap I cut to fit the brooder.
    For the first 3 days i only use burlap, and place the feed in the tray type feeder.

    Then I use nonsense shavings, and then throw on some straw, then pine shavings next.

    After about 4 weeks they get moved into the 4x6 brooder.

    Never had splayed leg or choked chick yet!
  5. plfreitag

    plfreitag In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2007
    wright city mo
    I use shavings from the feed store. You can use basically any shavings except cedar. They are toxic to the chickens. Some people use pellets like they use in pellet stoves. The coating disintegrates when it gets wet or when the feces hits it so it is easy to tell when it needs to be cleaned. It's more expensive than the shavings, though.

    You can use straw, but it mats down too fast for my liking. You can use shredded paper if you have access to it but some people are concerned about the ink unless it's clean paper like newsprint. Leaves are also an option but they mat down like the straw does.

    It's basically up to you, as long as you use something not toxic to the babies.

    Trisha in MO
  6. wefanjr

    wefanjr In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2007
    Why is cedar bad? I mix cedar cat litter with my pine shavings. When I talked to the women at the Agway she didn't seem to think it would be a problem.
  7. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    ceder shavings could be toxic to the make them sick if they eat it could kill them.notice im not saying it saying it could be harmful to them.
  8. careybeau

    careybeau In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2008
    I've been using paper towels ( my chicks are only 3 days old). Tomorrow I'll switch them to wood shavings, although it gets funky pretty quick! I just bought a huge bag of wood shavings from tractor supply for 5 bucks. They said not to use cedar because they'll eat it and it will poison them, I don't know why, though.[​IMG][​IMG]
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It is the aromatic properties that are toxic. The oils being inhaled causes the respiratory system to become inflamed, fill with fluid and eventually they drown in their own body fluids - much like humans get pnumonia - is my understanding of why cedar shavings are bad for chickens or any small fowl. Think about it - cedar is used in closets because it is aromatic and kills bugs and moths.
  10. CathyB

    CathyB Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Good to hear! I am getting my babies soon and I have aspen shavings and pellets here so I guess I can take my pick!

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