Can my week old chicks go on wood shavings?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BabiesNChicks, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. BabiesNChicks

    BabiesNChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 1, 2014
    NSW Australia
    Hi everyone, my chicks have been on rice husks for the last week which work really great but I can't find any shops around here that stock them and after 5 days without a cage clean I need to do something quickly. I have wood shavings and I've been too scared to use them... But my chickens are on unmedicated feed and maybe the cons of unhygienic living conditions outweigh the cons of wood shavings? Please help, I am desperate to clean the brooder for them! Thanks!
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    What kind of wood shavings? Pine shavings should be safe with adequate ventilation.
  3. BabiesNChicks

    BabiesNChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 1, 2014
    NSW Australia

    Well I have no idea. It was from the pet shop when my husband asked for something for chicken bedding....
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Read the label. Chicken folk usually avoid cedar shavings as the cedar aroma can overwhelm tiny lungs and cause respiratory issues.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Many many people use wood shavings with absolutely no problems. Other than the risks from cedar shavings I don’t know what the supposed “cons” are. What is your concern so maybe we can address those?

    Whether you use medicated or unmedicated feed, a wet dirty brooder is a dangerous brooder. A dirty brooder can kill chicks no matter what feed you give them. If it is wet, it can also cause problems with their feet.

    Chicks need clean water. Chicks need a dry brooder. You don’t have to change bedding every day as long as the brooder stays dry. But it is real easy for poop to build up enough to stay damp, and that gives microbes a good place to grow and cause problems. That could be the health of your chicks or an obnoxious smell for you which is also obnoxious to the chicks.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I use pine shavings from day one.

    Please don't buy them from a pet store--that just makes the frugal part of me cringe. They'll sell you like 1 cubic foot for $7 or something like that. Go to a feed store and get a big bale of shavings like for horse stalls. 9 or 11 cubic feet depending, for around $10-12. It may seem like too much shavings, but you'll use them in the coop later and save a ton of $$.
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I think I only pay $6.99 or $7.99 for asn 8 cubic foot bale at TSC. Definitely a waste of money to buy those little bags. Make sure they are pine though and not cedar. Cedar isn't good for any small animal.
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    I agree. Also make sure you get the white bale of hardwood shavings which should smell like fresh sawdust.
    The yellow bale is softwood shavings and smells like turpentine, you don't want that one.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Most shavings in the US farm stores are pine(soft wood) shavings, which are usually kiln dried and fine for bedding.
    Ash(hard wood) shavings are available as reptile and small animal bedding but are more expensive.
    Cedar shavings are not good because of the pungent oils being bad for any small animal.

    My TSC has 8 cubic foot bales of large flake pine for about $5. I like the large flake shavings better than the smaller shavings.

    ETA: That said, I used fine, washed, kiln dried sand with some PDZ mixed in in my chick brooder, easy peasy to scoop out the poops...keeps it smelling better inside the house. Put their food and water on a tote top for the first week until they get the hang of it.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  10. chickamy

    chickamy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2014
    Wood or pine shavings should be fine. Try any local feed store.

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