bedding in the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Auroradream26, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

    May 14, 2013
    Central, PA
    I'm getting my first chicks at the end of February and I'm almost ready. I have a 5' sq box, some chick grit, a little homemade feeder, some electrolytes, a waterer, and heat lamp. Just need to order their food. Right now I have an old towel folded in the bottom of the brooder. I know they need wood chips for bedding but do you use that from the start or is an old towel Good for the first week or two. After the first week or two, my chicks will be relocating to a large, old dog crate set up out on the screen porch with wood shavings and their heat lamp ect. I just need to know when to start using wood shavings for bedding.

  2. Ernie G

    Ernie G In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2013
    I used wood shavings from day one and they are fine. Put a good layer of the shavings so the chicks dont lose thier footing.
  3. lismarc

    lismarc Chirping

    Jan 11, 2014
    Southern Maryland
    I don't use wood shavings until they are over a week old sometimes 2 weeks. Just depends on the chicks and how strong they are. don't want to take a chance on straddle leg. Just please make sure to use pine and NOT cedar shavings. There are chemicals in cedar that can be toxic to chickens. Smells good though. haha

    An old towel will definitely work but, it will need changing a lot (depending on how many chicks you have). Paper towels may be easier. I use rubber shelf liner. When it needs cleaning I just shake it off, give it a good rinse and reuse it.

    Hope that helped.
  4. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Songster

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    I've always used towels for my chick brooders. I never used shavings. I did scoop up the tiny droppings regularly and change the towels several times per day. (easy enough to shake out a towel and toss it in the washer on hot with a tiny, tiny bit of bleach for sanitizing. -throw it in the dryer. The chicks loved the fresh, warm towels!)

    I still use towels in my coop. -have shavings on the floor, but white towels on the roost area. -very easy to roll up a towel, shake it into the compost, and toss it in to wash as opposed to scraping poop off of boards. I use towels in the nest boxes as well. -doesn't get messy, and if there is a broken egg it is easily seen (as opposed to getting scratched underneath hay). With washing every few days, it also helps keep mites away. -no dust, waste, or mess builds up anywhere.

    -a bit unconventional, but it works very well!
  5. Northie

    Northie Songster

    I've been wondering about this too. Pine shavings are easy to find and I have plenty of straw and hay on hand... Are shavings the best out of those?

  6. lismarc

    lismarc Chirping

    Jan 11, 2014
    Southern Maryland
    In the brooder? my opinion is yes. The straw or hay is to.. uumm loose or slippery. It does not absorb pee or water either. The chicks need good grip so they don't get straddle leg. Plus, for me anyway, I like that instead of cleaning out the brooder and sanitizing, I can just add more shavings right on top. Its called the deep litter method. Helps to even out the heat too. No smell and sooooo easy. If there is a huge poop, I will scoop that out... other than that EASY AND CLEAN. when the chicks are grown and moved out (hahah) I have started throwing the brooder litter into my coop to add to the deep litter in there. Eventually, it all becomes compost. WIN/WIN
    1 person likes this.
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I like flax, i use it straight from the get go wonderful stuff and not as dusty as shavings... harder to find though, unfortunately. I included a pic of what it looks like below. I have brooded on shavings before, they are okay as well.


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