Bedding material for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bwaaak!, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Bwaaak!

    Bwaaak! In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2009
    Woodinville, WA
    Hi everyone! I am so glad there is so much good advice on here! I've been reading and reading and reading. I had raised chicks about 20 years ago, started working full time and stopped. A few years ago I started back up with a small backyard flock and they are my little darlings, including Henry the rooster. I have since had to quit work due to spine surgery.

    So here I am with 6 two week old chicks (from feed store) and 25 six day old bantam takeoffs from the standard breeds (from Cackle hatchery). Here's my question and I hope you can help me.

    I bought a compressed bag of white shavings from the local feed store for my chicks bedding about 1 week before I bought my first 6 chicks. No problem. When my 25 chicks arrived about 3 days ago I used the shavings from the same bag. No problem.

    While changing their bedding this morning I saw MOLD in the corners of the bag and the shavings felt damp! It appears to have consumed about half the bag. So... for a week I had been unknowingly using this stuff! I thought these plastic wrapped compressed bags of shavings was supposed to be dry. My heart just breaks knowing I may have infected them with mold spores. Arent shavings supposed to be dry? What do people do if they want to store an extra bag?

    Would it be better to buy a bale of straw for their bedding instead? Any advice would be so appreciated. I never thought I would be asking these questions because I had raised chickens in the past.

    Thank you in advance! Barb

    Oh... BTW... the shavings went straight from minivan to the garage which is tightly enclosed and heated.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009

  2. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    With day-old chicks I use a puppy pad or similar human incontinence product, then paper towels on top ofthat. ONce the chicks are a few days old and everyone is eating, pooping, all is normal then I do the pads, paper towels, and use shredded paper from our shredder at work. The chicks like the diamnd cut fluffy stuff. But if there is any indication that one of them is trying to eat it I switch to the long stringy kind from the older shredder.

    Yes mold spores can be present in the air. I'd be tempted to move the chicks to another room once you change out the bedding. And be sure to wash out the brooder, feeders, and waterers.

    We live in a very dry climate, mold is not normally a problem here. So I don't have any suggestions for keeping your bedding dry.
  3. william9792

    william9792 Songster

    Nov 23, 2008
    graham, nc
    i keep my shavings in the house just for the reasons so they don't mold up, when you open the they draw the humidty out of the air to them. throw them away and buy new, and keep the where the temps are stable and they won't mold up
  4. Bwaaak!

    Bwaaak! In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2009
    Woodinville, WA
    Thanks for the suggestions! I will begin shredding as many bills and stuff as I can find! That is a good idea.

    And I will definitely look into storing my bag of shavings in another location, probably my dining room.

    Bwaak! Barb [​IMG]
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    You have received good information so I will just say [​IMG]

  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop

    I have raised all of my chicks in this wire brooder. There are catch trays under the brooder with shavings in it. Also a tray in the brooder with pine shavings in it for the chicks to scratch, peck in and sleep in. The water and feed stays clean. I have never had any problems with their feet going through the wire and they grow so fast.

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