Beginning brooder questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KentuckyChick, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. KentuckyChick

    KentuckyChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    My chicks are scheduled to hatch Monday, and my brooder is finished. I also have a children's pool I'm using for the first few days so I can get to them easier to check for pasty butt and all that. My question is, I've seen conflicting info on here regarding using newspaper in the beginning (spraddled legs?) and pine shavings. Is it going to hurt if I use pine from day one? I'm heading to TSC today to get the last of what I need, and I'm curious what I need to do!
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Do not use newspaper. Pine shavings is best. Papertowels is easier for the first week or so, but definate avoid newpapers.
  3. KentuckyChick

    KentuckyChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Thank you for your quick reply! I've seen pics of other user's chicks and they have them on newspaper, while others use pine. I was wondering what the best choice was!
  4. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never had any issues with putting them directly on pine shavings as soon as they are dried, and fluffed out.
    One thing though...
    Yesterday I opened a new bale of shavings (pine) and they just reeked of sap smell. I used old shavings in the brood tub, and am letting the new bale air out so to speak.
  5. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Paper towels give them better grip with their toes. I only leave them over the pine shavings long enough for them to find the feeders and water(2 days). It's just to keep them from eating any pine dust or small chips. They do break down the shavings with all their scurring but aren't interested in eating them. They send them flying around the feeders though.
  6. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    I did the same as above, had them on pine shavings with paper towels laid out for the first two days or so, then took the paper towels out. To me, those first two days were the easiest to clean the brooder lol! Throwing out paper towels is much easier then trying to sort or even throw out shavings. Be prepared for whatever floor the brooder is on to look like a barn [​IMG]
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You have some very excellent suggestions regarding bedding for your new chicks. Now, may I make a suggestion regarding the brooder?

    I'm now on my fourth batch of baby chicks, and at first, I had the brooder (a cardboard appliance box) on the floor. My chicks never warmed up to me, and were actually more scared of me as time went by. Every time I'd reach in the pick them up, they'd run screeching from me. Those are now grown up, and they are still impossible to catch.

    Then this year, I got the bright idea to put the brooder up on a table, and I cut an access door into the side. It makes all the difference in the world, and it sure does save the back,too! The chicks see all of me as I reach in to handle them, not just a big pair of scary hands diving at them from above, as a predator would.

    They never were afraid of me, and now that they're two months old, they're a cinch to catch since none of them run away from me.

    I took it a step further. I wanted tame, TAME chickens! So I instituted a policy of daily lap holding. They all loved being held, cuddled, and they still do. My current batch is just a week old, and they're well on their way to being tamed already. Instead of racing away when I reach into the brooder, they stand there almost anxious to be picked up!

    I wish you loads of luck with the new babies! Raising baby chicks is about the best thing in the world!
  8. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    No newspaper on newborn chicks . Paper towels are best in my opinion. [​IMG]
  9. skya328

    skya328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Quote:That's an awesome idea! I got 25 chicks and 6 keets last week. I wish I had done that. They're all terrified of me. Especially the keets, the crazy little buggers! Next time I'll try putting them up high...when I don't have quite so many! Well, if there is a next time. I'm up to 60 birds now. [​IMG]

    Kentucky Chick, I'm using a kids pool for mine, too. What worked great for me was getting some puppy training pads. (I read that somewhere on BYC.) The last 2 sets of babies I've raised inside it has worked well. I think I got a pack of 30 no-name brand at TSC for $5 or $6. I only use them for a week at most, then switch to shavings. Have fun with your chicks! They're so much fun. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by