Frosty

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 30, 2008
2,919
123
256
ND
I don't know if it's an old wives tale, but I have always heard that you shouldn't have the chicks on newspaper because it's slick and can cause spraddle leg (aka splay leg). Yet here I see lots of pics of chicks on newspaper? Just wondering about it... any thoughts?
 

LilPeeps

Songster
13 Years
Jan 13, 2007
3,925
12
221
SE Mass
Newspaper is slippery and can cause splayed legs. Try shavings with paper towels on top for the first few days, then go to straight shavings.
 

Critter Crazy

Songster
12 Years
Apr 19, 2007
1,086
6
181
Binghamton, NY
newspaper isnt good, but for the first day or so some people place newsppaer over shavings so the chicks wont eat the wood shavings. I use paper towels myself, I wont use newspaper.
 

newarkrooster

In the Brooder
12 Years
Nov 16, 2007
62
0
39
mine are a week old and I replaced my paper towel with that rubbermaid shelf liner the rubber stuff, it seems like it will be real good on top of shavings
 

GopherBoyFarms

Songster
12 Years
Mar 18, 2008
1,262
27
209
Vancouver WA
we are VERY new to this...got our first 25 chicks 3/17 and started them on shreded(sp) newspaper that was covered w/ paper towels. Daily I would change the paper towels when i washed and changed the food and water. One time I changed it all (shreded newspaper and paper towels) then at about 2.5 weeks I took it all out and put in pine shavings. It works great! We all love the pine shavings!
 

Frosty

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 30, 2008
2,919
123
256
ND
The only thing that I don't like about the shavings is when the birds keep getting them into the water... I have been raising chickens for about 15 years now, I use either straw or shavings depending on how much room there is. If I am using a small brooder I use shavings, if they are in a larger area I use straw. Shredded paper should be fine (I think) since it isn't a slick flat surface.

I was just curious because I saw lots of pics here today of baby chicks standing on newspaper. I wouldn't use our local paper even if it was ok to keep them on newspaper, they use petroleum based ink. I won't even use it for my earth worms. Might not hurt anything, but I don't take chances.
 

gumpsgirl

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
14,106
41
311
Virginia
I have to say that I started out using newspaper, because that's what all of the old farmers around here kept telling me to do. I cleaned them everyday, but in about 3 hours from cleaning the brooder, it was stinky again and they were tearing it up and getting it all over in their water.
Then I read about spraddle leg and got worried. I have since switched to pine shavings, which has made a world of difference! I bought a HUGE bag for about $5.00 at our local feed store. I did have problems at first with the shavings getting all over in the water and food, so I put the waterer and feeder on some bricks and that has seemed to take care of the problem! Now I don't feel guilty that my new babies might be in danger of getting spraddle leg! I would recommend the shavings!
 

ozark hen

Living My Dream
12 Years
Apr 4, 2007
6,962
47
301
Mansfield, MO
I don't use newspaper as you can see it causes a lot of problems. I use paper towels for about 3-5 days and then switch to shavings only. I sprinkle the food on the paper towels to get them to eat by tapping my fingernail on the paper towels. They learn very quickly. Dip their bill in the water once usually does it to teach them where the water is. Preferably put marbles in the waterer to keep them from drowning till they seem to get some sense.

I keep a block of wood in the brooder and keep both the feeder and the waterer up on it to keep the shavings out of them. Anything to elevate them but large enough for the chicks to jump up on. Shavings have always remained at a minimum.
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
102
371
Forks, Virginia
Most of the newspaper I have seen is when people are photoing their chicks. Put paper on the kitchen table, chicks on the paper, then photo. I think that you are seeing poop on the table prevention more than brooding chicks on newpaper.
 

horsejody

Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
6,923
38
271
Waterloo, Nebraska
I use puppy pads for the first week, newspaper for the second week and pine shavings after that. I think that when they are a week old the legs are developed adequately enough that the risk of getting splayed legs is gone.
 

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