Chickens eating pine shavings?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fuzzy, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Hatching

    Jan 11, 2010
    Hi, folks! I'm a new member and will post in the New Member Forum soon, but I have a quick question now; my full grown chickens are eating all the pine shavings in their coop. Will this hurt them? Why would they do this - out of boredom? We give them lots of food and good treats every day, so they are not underfed. They seem to be OK so far, but this seems like strange behaviour...
    Any advice for a novice?

  2. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    My birds pick at new shavings right after I clean out the coop, but they dont eat the shavings regularly.
    I'm not sure why yours would be doing that. How old are they? What do you feed them? How often are they fed? What breed & how many do you have?
    I'm sure somebody here has more experience with this problem.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  3. Stef in Davis CA

    Stef in Davis CA In the Brooder

    Dec 6, 2008
    Riverside, CA
    Dont know if its bad, but mine like to eat/pick at pine shavings in the evenings before going to bed. Used to freak me out cause chicks can die of this, but now I'm used to their crazy ways and don't stress about it. They eat sunflower seeds with the shell on and seem fine...I figure they just like the fiber or something. Mine have also started eating fallen brown old bamboo leaves....totally weird, cause I give them plenty of fresh carrot tops or other greens every day in addition to layer crumble, scratch, oyster shell and grit. Chicken behaviors are mysterious, but as long as they're healthy, I figure they know what they're doing. [​IMG]
  4. crazybarnlady

    crazybarnlady In the Brooder

    Jan 5, 2010
    langley, BC, Canada
    mine do this too- had the shavings bag in the coop until I realized it was "mysteriously" going down [​IMG]

    one of the hens also took to sneaking in the bag and laying her eggs in there, sneaky girl!

    They don't seem to have any ill effects from it (they are 6 months old and HUGE) so I figure if it isn't broke, I'm not going to fix it [​IMG]

    The extra shavings are in a container now but they still have the shavings on the ground.

  5. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Hatching

    Jan 11, 2010
    Quote:Thanx for the replies, everyone. The shavings don't seem to be hurting them, it's just strange behaviour.
    The chickens are about seven months old and are laying fine. They have store-bought laying feed twice a day, and we give them lots of leftovers - lettuce, brussels sprouts, nuts, whatever we think they would like. A well-rounded diet.
    There are four generic store-ordered chickens, though we're thinking of getting some different breeds.

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