Chicks eating paper towels

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rbancroft, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. rbancroft

    rbancroft Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 11, 2009
    My 3 week old Buff Orpington chicks are eating chunks of paper towels. Perhaps I need to change their bedding to something else or maybe it's not a problem. Their brooder is a large rabbit cage that has a heavy duty plastic floor (with small holes) that fits inside the bottom tray. I've been lining the floor with paper towels, then putting pine shavings on top of it. As they've gotten older, the chicks are scratching through the pine shavings and making a mess of the whole thing, finding and shredding the paper towels. I've seen all of them gobble down chunks of it. They are eating lots of their chick starter food every day and a daily treat, so I don't think they are overly hungry. Any ideas?
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I know mine make a game of scratching down to whatever is under the shavings and pecking it. I kinda got used to the sound of 6 beaks pecking the floor of a plastic airline crate [​IMG]

    Since your chicks are older and not going to fall through the holes, could you put the litter under the wire bottom?
  3. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Mine went gaga over newspaper- or any kind of paper. To this day one of them still will eat a ton of it if she can find it. The problem is that it shoots straight through in a watery mess. It's not really bad for them, but its not good and it should be limited. I suggest giving them something good to scratch in- a small tub of dirt should be more entertaining for them.
  4. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    ohh mine LOVE scratching around in a little tub of sand. they sure make a mess but at least the mess stays in the brooder. if you use sand it's also a god source of grit, as they will eat some of it.

    as was said before, it's not a bad thing but it's not a good thing either. i've heard of people just using sand as liter and using a really fine kitty litter scoop to get the poo out. a clean one of course, you don't want them getting sick from whatever might be on a used one.

    oh - and since they are a little older you could use a wire floor for them. mine are a few weeks old now and they are on a wire floor in a large bird cage and everyone's happy [​IMG]
  5. kittyariel

    kittyariel Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 1, 2008
    taft TN
    What kind of sand would be okay??? Mine are making such a mess with the shavings now and I am cleaning them every day!!!!!
  6. dangerboy

    dangerboy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2009
    Madison, wisconsin
    I used news paper after the first week. It seemed to be fine and my chickens are now three years old. Only two out of 4 are still laying( one was sexed wrong at the hatchery) but we are going to keep them until they get old and passaway from old age. I wouldn't think that the papper towel would be very good for them to eat unless you just switch to the brown unbleach fiber kind. Maybe that's what you are already using?
  7. rbancroft

    rbancroft Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 11, 2009
    Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I've just been using regular Bounty paper towels, so I agree, it's not so good for them. The bottom of the cage isn't wire. It's plastic with small square (maybe 3/8") holes, so I'm going to take out the paper towels, just use the shavings, and get them a tub of dirt or sand to play in. We'll see how that goes!
  8. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    After 2 weeks with pine pellets I switched to play sand, bought at the hardware store-way easier to clean up than the pellets with a kitty litter scoop as was mentioned. Also cheaper.They seem to like it-scratch around, take dust baths, etc.

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