Chick bedding question pine? Appropriate

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Happy Henhouse, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Happy Henhouse

    Happy Henhouse Chirping

    Apr 27, 2012
    Murfreesboro, TN
    When I purchased my first chicks I was told to use pine shavings for litter in the brooder & then coop. Since an old farmer told me that wasn't good and I should use hay. Any experts out there I'd love to here what you've been successful with. I have a mixed flock of mostly bantams Cochins, EE, OEG, frizzles, a little silkie and a few full size silkies, WC polish, GL polish and a Sumatra all young some still babies. I just want to use whatever's best for them.
  2. Hi Happy,

    What I have heard is that paper towels are best for the brooder for the first couple of days. If you put down lots of can remove the top soiled layer(s) easily and they have a clean floor.

    Then not too much later pine shavings are a good choice. I think I had made the switch within a couple of days. I have heard that pine shavings aren't good to start with in the brooder, incase the chicks begin eating them and filling up on something that doesn't have the nutrition that they will need.

    After that, as they grow, you could probably use hay-- I think hay would cost more than pine shavings in the long run though. I guess a lot depends upon how you set things up.
  3. ChickNhood

    ChickNhood Chirping

    Apr 12, 2012
    Decatur IL
    Pine is better at absorbing the noisture than hay...hay wpuld be ok to use in the nest but I woild reccomend pine for the floor especially if you ate gonna use deep litter metthod...i use pine and love it...very cheap!....corn cob works well to but a lil more pricey
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    I'd never ever use hay, ever. It is difficult to clean and molds when wet. Pine bedding is very cheap and works awesome. We buy our bedding in the horse section which is under $5 for 5 square feet. I rarely have to buy it because it's so easy to clean. I use it in the nest boxes and coop. I use sand in the run. Good luck!
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I do what is easiest, cleanest and cheapest for me. My chicks have been going on pine shavings in their brooder from day one for many, many years. I have never messed around with paper towels, towels, etc. etc. I put down a layer of newspaper and top it with a deep layer of shavings. Then it's easy to just roll up the paper and put down all new bedding. Shavings also make a soft, warm bed for napping and sleeping.

    Same with the coop. I just like how absorbent shavings are and easy to clean up. Some people like hay in the coop, I personally don't care for it because it seems to end up blown and scattered all over the place, up against the fences etc. Try both and see what you like better. Although, around here at least, shavings are cheaper then hay. Straw I would definitely avoid, those hollow tubes make wonderful hiding places for mites.
  6. RonC

    RonC Songster

    Feb 28, 2012
    Mine were on pine shavings when I bought them as day olds. I think they were a little older than that but less than a week. They had pine shavings in their brooder till they moved out to the coop. I saw them when they were little pickup the pine shavings exploring but never actually saw them eat any. They still have pine shavings in the floor of the coop. I do recommend putting several inches (5-6) of shavings in the brooder and coop. You can stir the shavings around everyday and they will last quiet a while before you need to change them. They are cheap enough not to worry. I've heard bad things about hay and the shavings seemed more appropriate.
  7. ChickiesInUtah

    ChickiesInUtah Chirping

    May 14, 2012
    Northern Utah
    We plan on using a mix of both & see how it goes. Good luck to you!
  8. aggiemae

    aggiemae Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    Aside from being too bulky to store, not being absorbent harboring insects and pretty stinky when it's breaking down hay, especial bedding hay which has lots of straw in it, is also hard to digest. Chicks will eat it and there is a risk it will stick in their croup.

    I was raised on a farm and sorry in advance of offending anyone but the advice you get from farmers isn't always sound. Hay is cheap, if you have 300 chicks and 20 or 30 of then get hay stuck in their croup and die ... oh well... Those of us with small flocks of birds who we get to know individually usually don't want to take that risk. I know that it's not a risk I would take to save a few bucks a month.

    We have an animal rescue and I use the same paper pellets for the chicks that I use for all the other animals that pass through here. It's dark green or grey which makes it very easy to see and clean the chicken poop using a kitty litter scoop. It goes right into the compost where is breaks down quickly and worms seem to love it. And, so far, it's very low odor too.

    BTW grass clipping make great bedding as long as you change it often. My husband put a load into the portable run when ever he mows and the chicks have a great time scratching and dusting it the pile.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  9. Happy Henhouse

    Happy Henhouse Chirping

    Apr 27, 2012
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Thank you so much for all your input. Pine shavings it is! That's what I've been using and it's working fine but just wanted to make sure I wasn't making a mistake. Thanks again everyone
  10. yorklady

    yorklady Chirping

    May 12, 2012
    I used to use the compressed paper pellets for my Havanese who is litter trained. A friend told me that wood stove pellets are much less expensive so we changed to the wood stove pellets. When I got my brooder ready I was considering using the wood pellets as their little toes would have something to grasp. Next time I brood chicks I am going to try it as I opted for pine shavings this time!

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