Changing sleeping styles, also eating sand??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chirrup121, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. chirrup121

    chirrup121 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Hi everyone I just got a few baby chicks recently (3 of them, named Butterscotch, Gingerbread and Sunshine). My first issue is that at first, I had given them paper towels to move around on (as I had not yet acquired bedding), and they slept lying down, but now that there is bedding, they tend to sleep standing up. Is this bad for them? Should I continue to lay some paper towels for them?

    Another problem is that I read they should "wash" themselves in sand, so I provided a box of fine sand... however they ended up pecking at it and eating it! I removed the box immediately when I discovered this but how will they wash themselves? And is eating the fine sand bad for them?

    Thank you ^^
  2. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chirping

    Sep 2, 2014
    I had our 1 day old chicks on paper towel for 3 days then pulled the paper towels out (pine shavings underneath), and had no issue with them on the shavings. They would huddle down or lay straight out on the shavings. I introduced a dust bathing box with playground sand at 2 weeks old, and they figured out how to use it quickly. They do peck thru it nearly daily and end up with some grit, but they don't spend more than 5 minutes pecking around in it....usually it is right after I clean. They like to "scratch" thru it looking for any goodies that might be in there like a stray meal worm or something else.
    Definitely monitor how much they are eating sand wise....
    How old are they?
  3. chirrup121

    chirrup121 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Thanks for the info! They are five days old. :)
  4. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Songster

    Mar 6, 2013

    Chicks don't need to wash themselves in sand. As they get older they tend to dust bathe. That won't work with sand. The reason they dust bathe is to smother parasites such as lice. So when they move outside they will find some nice dirt to bathe in. They really don't need it now.

    It's a good thing to remove the sand because they can eat too much of it and I have had chicks tend to impact their tiny gizzards by eating too much sand. Some just overdo it. They do need sand at this early age though to grind their food. So, putting a little bit in a pile in their brooder every few days is a good thing until they get old enough for chick grit. I would put them on shavings right now. The big flaky kind, not the finer sawdust type shavings. They will tend to peck and eat at this stuff too(the smaller particals) until they realized it's not their food. But the sand and chick grit will help grind anything down they happen to eat.
  5. chirrup121

    chirrup121 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Oh i see ^^ Thank you so much! It was very helpful!
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I kept my chicks on sand mixed with some Sweet PDZ for odor control and they did dust bathe in it, the might not have 'needed' to... but they sure enjoyed it!

    I'm sure they ate some too, but it didn't impact their crops and it sure was easy to clean up the poops with a reptile sifter without going thru bales of shavings.

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