Changing Chick Bedding Problem

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MillyMollyMandy, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. MillyMollyMandy

    MillyMollyMandy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    Wester-Ross, Scotland

    My 3 11wk chicks have been raised on hay bedding, the other day I thought they were old enough to grow up a bit more.

    So I cleaned out thier broody coup and changed it to soft wood shavings, then let them back in to thier run.

    They noticed the few messy bits of shavings I had dropped and to my horror immediately started to eat them!!!

    I started hard clucking and pushing them away from the shavings but it was like catching water, so I buzzed off and got Molly (Bird Mum) to see if she would tell them off, nope, she just went bum up and got stuck into thier food.

    After an age of tapping them off when they tried to pick a bit up and fed them feed instead.... I had to admit defeat and give up. Locked them out of the pen and had to thouroughly clean out the clean coup and revert back to hay.

    Advise on changing much appreciated.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Don't panic! It's natural for them to eat some of the wood shavings. I always have them on shavings and never had a problem yet. They don't eat that much. Right now, it' s a novelty to them. If it worries you, add a little sandy grit to their food to help them grind up the shavings.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Yeah, it's normal. But, since you've put the hay back in anyway why don't you try throwing a few shavings in on top. They'll eat some but if they have grit it won't hurt them. Once they get used to it they'll realize it's not a good as their feed and go back to eating like they should. Just put a little in at first till they get used to it. Then little by little add more till they are bored with it and you can then go entirely with shaveings.
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep no need to panic. At 11 weeks old your peeps know what food is. Sometimes they eat the shavings, however adding a grit feeder will cure any problems that could occur. If you birds free range, or have access to the dirt outside they will be fine.

  5. MillyMollyMandy

    MillyMollyMandy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    Wester-Ross, Scotland
    Thanks everyone, this has been worring me silly, your confidence has laid my mind to rest.

    They have their own wee run and from 3 weeks I've let them out to the big pen with their Mum Molly and our other 2 girls in the afternoon to socialize.

    I hope to introduce them to the big coup in a couple of weeks (expected horrors) as I have another broody who's eggs should be arriving tomorrow - I don't know what breed is coming so am quite excited. I'm doing it for some-one whose got 18 girls and not one has gone broody this year!

    So if you want a broody hen get a Partridge Wyandotte!
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: