Chicks eating pine shavings in brooder---ok?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by funkdog, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I've had my biddies on pine shavings since day two. I watch them pecking the shaving but can't say I saw them eat them maybe some who knows. They are now three weeks old & look healthy to me.
  2. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Songster

    Feb 17, 2011
    South East TN
    I made my chicks stay on paper towels for 5 days until I was sure they knew how to get to the food and wouldn't confuse it. When I started having to clean the bedding up because they were playing in it, not eating it, I assumed it would be ok. So at 6days old I removed the towels. They are 2 weeks today, no issues everyone is alive and well. I would put paper towels down for a few more days, make sure the feeder is always full and that they all know how to get to it.
  3. koakritters

    koakritters Songster

    Jan 27, 2011
    i literally just got home from the feed store after buying all my stuff for chicks due next week and they told me to keep them on newspaper/paper towels instead of pine shavings because they will eat them.
  4. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree with Gritsar but it's a personal preference. I have always raised my chicks on small shavings and they have done fine. Mine do eat small bits of shavings but no amount that has ever kill one single baby. Again, it is all a personal preference. Enjoy the babies [​IMG]
  5. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I think there is a very small chance that they *could* eat the bedding and then it lodging in *just* the right way to block the crop and then *possibly* dying, but it's a rare chance and there is probably tens upon thousands of chicks being raised on pine bedding and end up being just fine! I've always raised mine on bedding and never had a problem.
  6. LoreleisMama

    LoreleisMama In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    I have my new babes on the pine and they seem to pick it up and dig through it. They do really well with knowing where their food is. They are only 5 days old and when they see the food coming the all look up and peeep peeep peeeep!
  7. luvtheladies

    luvtheladies In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2011
    Harrogate, TN
    I have had my biddies on pine since day one. They are now 8 days old. I have been watching them. They know where there food and water is. I have noticed their natural instincts coming out as they scratch at it and they do pick at it but as soon as they pick it up they put it right back down. I'm sure one will eat a piece here and there but so far they all seem to be nice and healthy.
  8. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I saw mine eating some of the shavings when they were little. It didn't kill them. I did worry a little about not having grit in there for them but they survived and never seemed sick. I only put them on paper towels at the beginning because I use a plastic tote as a brooder and I was worried about them slipping and getting spraddle leg. I did like putting a little food on the paper towels when they first went in to the brooder. They pecked at the darker food against the white towels pretty quickly.
  9. HollywoodHillsHens

    HollywoodHillsHens Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Quote:x2. I have always kept my chicks on pine shavings from the start, I've never done paper towels, I just watch them at first to make sure everybody knew where the feed was. Are you sure they are eating the shavings or are they picking up spilled crumbles? Mine would dig a ridiculous amount of crumbles out of the feeders and then had a fine time scratching thru the shavings looking for and eating it.

    Agreed, ours were fine with the shavings...

    However, if you have the choice, strongly encourage you to use ASPEN shavings instead of pine to avoid (future) respiratory problems from any offgassing!
  10. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    I did the paper towel thing with two of my chicks, decided it just wasn't worth it, and started putting them straight onto shavings after that. Sure they will peck at the shavings at first and even look like they are eating them, but they really don't ingest a ton, if any. It doesn't take them very long to figure out that their food tastes a heck of a lot better than their bedding and they go for the food and water. Chicks peck at everything¬Ö shavings, poo, the walls of the brooder, each other. That doesn't mean they are eating all of those things. I just think of it as them using their beaks as hands, they are feeling their environment out and scoping out the area. My other thought process is that if they are stupid enough to keep eating shavings after discovering food, do I really want to add those genes into my breeding pool? [​IMG]
    As far as the bedding goes, I've heard that about the aspen vs pine but never personally had a problem. Pine is softer and my chicks tend to like it better. I have both, it just depends on which feed store I end up at when I need shavings!

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