Brooder bedding?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Secretlyspotted, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am using a dryer box as a brooder for an order 15 standard chicks. I have an Ecoglow as the method of heat. I am brooding the babies in my basement, which is a living space that we use daily. I am trying to figure out the best bedding options to minimize odor. Cost is not the biggest factor, but of course cheaper is better. I don't really love the idea of wood shaving because it seems like they would get full of waste quickly and be hard to clean out. I read that newspaper isn't good because it is too slick. Would puppy training pads work? If they do work, should I put something else under them? Any better ideas? I do have a grow out pen for them to spend the day in when the get a little bigger, but I am planning on keeping them in my house for the first 8 weeks.
     
  2. NinjaRooster

    NinjaRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found that Pine shavings work quite well. Specifically the ones sold as horse bedding, not the ones sold in the pet section of walmart.
    I put down an inch or so of them. Then I would sprinkle in a handful or two as needed. When it gets "full" (really depends on what you want to call full, 2 inches maybe) you just put the chicks in a small box, take out the feed, water, and anything else in the brooder
    then take it out side and dump it in an unused part of the yard.*

    Just don't use cedar... the oils are toxic for the chicks.


    (*of course, that depends on your yard... )
     
  3. Iowa Farm Boy

    Iowa Farm Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with NinjaRooster, also you want to get the large flakes, because the chicks will eat the fine flakes.
     
  4. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the the idea is to dump all the shavings- not try to pick out the tiny poo? That makes more sense! I have horses, so pine shavings would be the easiest solution. And dumping shavings in my yard is no problem. The shavings don't get too wet and ruin the bottom of the box? My experience with shavings has all be horse related and one horse pee and a cardboard box would be ruined!
     
  5. NinjaRooster

    NinjaRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Come to thing about it, the only problem with water (that I had anyway), was from the actual waterer itself. Even that wasn't to big of a problem.

    Chickens are well within the limits of the shavings ability to absorb water. Horses on the other hand[​IMG] [​IMG]. Now I see where you were coming from!
     
  6. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have spent more hours of my life than I want to think about shoveling horse manure.... I just couldn't imagine that horrible mess in my house! Chickens are actually the easiest pet I have! Horses are on a 24/7 suicide mission.
     
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  7. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I ever would do it in the house living area, I would use Softwood Pellets and have PDZ on hand. And lots of furnace filters.
     
  8. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was "lucky" enough to rent a house without central heating and air in the basement. :( This is only really bad because my daughters' room is down there! (In a completely different part of the basement from where the chick brooder will be.)
    Okay- I know what pdz is- but what is softwood pellets? Is it something that is sold at TSC or at a pet supply place?
     
  9. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, you should be able to get the pellets at either place, usually called bedding for rabbits or guinea pigs. They will swell up and wick the moisture for you, helps with odor also. some the woodstove places sell them. Creates much less dust than other bedding like straw or shavings.
     
  10. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Line the bottom of your box with heavy plastic, like a 3 mil Contractor grade garbage bag - see it taped up the sides?

    [​IMG]


    I use a mix of course pine shavings and pelleted pine bedding (made for horse stalls) - it is less dusty than just pellets and the chicks seem to like the texture better. Much less smelly than just shavings alone.

    Do not use pellets made for pellet stoves, they often have binding agents added in.
     
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