Brooder Bedding

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fuzzy5chicks, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. fuzzy5chicks

    fuzzy5chicks Out Of The Brooder

    29
    1
    36
    Aug 7, 2013
    MI
    I've heard great things about using sand in the coop. I was wondering what bedding would be good to use in the brooder...
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    Most people use paper towels for the first few days and pine shavings for the rest. My first time I had 6 chicks and followed the advice of everyone else, well it stunk. I was on a non stop mission to pull pine shavings out of the water and feed. I changed it several times a day and had a strong pine smell with lots of dust. The second time I had 57 chicks and sand. It was much better! Very little sand in the water, non in the feed, no dust, and no smell. I also didn't need to put anything else down for the first few days. They are all fine and not one had a problem getting around or spray legs. A kitty litter scooper does all the cleaning. Also, if they manage to dump the water it dries super quickly. I changed my coop over shortly after my first batch and will never look back!
     
  3. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

    609
    25
    128
    Aug 7, 2013
    Western Massachusetts
    I would love to switch to sand in my brooder but don't think it would work very long as I'm using a pen made of baby gates and the sand I think would get out easier than the pine shavings. Am planning on using sand in our coop. Should I use sand in the brooder for a short time (sand leakage aside) so they get used to it in their familiar environment?
     
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,353
    84
    176
    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    Sand is very dusty in the house. Stall dry (volcanic sand) is much better in the coop because it dries out the poo so cuts down on flies and odor much better than sand and as long as you scoop it (with a cat litter scoop) every few days it will stay clean and you never need to change it out so really it doesn't really cost much more than sand. But it is still very durst and not good to use in the house.

    I use an old towels with maybe 1/2" of pine shavings over it for the baby chicks. Baby chick poop is wet and stinky, so I change them at least once a day. I got a giant bag of them at goodwill for $8.00. You can soak them in soapy water then wash them with bleach like old fashioned cloth diapers or just toss them. If any of the chicks feet are gross you should wash them when you change the bedding.

    You can add a bit of buttermilk to the feed to firm up the poop but it will still stink.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  5. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    As far as the sand in the coop: My first batch started in the coop with pine shavings and when I changed to sand I just put my rooster on the sand and they all went to check it out. You want to do that with the head bird.
     
  6. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,353
    84
    176
    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    Yep...you get the boss hen (or roo) to do something and the rest just follow along.
     
  7. ladycat

    ladycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just use pine shavings. That's what I've been using for years.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by