Chicks eating pine shavings in brooder---ok?

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

  1. JustAChickenLittle&More

    JustAChickenLittle&More Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    I always used to put my chicks on pine shavings from the beginning. Then I started forgetting to put them in the brooder. Duh!!! So they were just on Newspaper. However, I usually remember by the end of the first week to stick the shavings in there. [​IMG] I never had any problems with the shavings whatsoever. However, do not use Cedar. [​IMG]
  2. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:sometimes when mine will not eat I peck with my index finger in the food dish until they start my wife kina laughs at me a little when I play momma chicken but it works [​IMG]
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I'm with Gritty on this one. I've raised I don't know how many hundreds of chicks on pine shavings over the years. Straight on to them, no paper. Never lost a one to eating them.

    It's a chick's nature to scratch and peck at pretty much everything it comes into contact with. It's how they learn.
  4. Shells

    Shells Hatching

    Jan 18, 2011
    I'm new to this raising chicks business and mine are eating newspaper. ( I watched in horror half an hour ago) I have my 4 week old chicks in a dog cage in the kitchen so am unable to put shavings into it as it is too shallow. I will relax now until they go outside.
  5. Bahachick

    Bahachick In the Brooder

    Dec 21, 2010
    Same thing happened to me, had them on shavings they started picking at it like mad. I got concerned and put them on newspaper instead. A week later when changing news papers 3 times a day got old I said what the heck and put them back on shavings.
    They went at it again but nothing ever happened to any of them.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Brooding chicks on newspaper should be avoided. It's too slick and it's said to contribute to spraddle leg.
  7. Bahachick

    Bahachick In the Brooder

    Dec 21, 2010
    Newspaper gets wet in no time and the slipperiness is gone.
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Because I'm a worry-wart and I have been hatching my own chicks for a while now, the very first day they're put on that no-slip, non-adhesive shelf lining. I peck (with a finger) at the food in the dish to show them where it is, and I push their little beaks into the waterer so they take their first drinks. After the first day, I just toss a bunch of pine shavings into the brooder on top of the shelf lining. I actually use the "deep litter" method in the brooder and just keep adding more shavings as long as they're in it. If they manage to dump their water, I pull out the damp shavings, but other than that, I just keep adding shavings. If I see a wet poop, I toss a handful over it. Every couple of days I add some more shavings. By the time they're going outside, the layers of shavings, poop, and uneaten feed are a good six inches thick.

    I dump all of that into the compost, shake out the shelf liner and throw it into the washing machine, clean the brooder well, and start all over again with the next batch o' chicks.

    Chicks do eat small bits of shavings, but mostly they pick it off each other or play Keep Away with a nice, dark shaving, running all over the brooder trying to keep it from their brooder-mates. The winner of that game rarely eats the prize.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  9. gardendogblue

    gardendogblue In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2011
    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.

    do you want to take a chance that they are eating lost feed or shavings that will kill them. Some birds do eat shavings don't grow because there is no room in the crop, adding grit doesn't help, and they die or don't grow well. It doesn't happen alot but it dose happen, plus if you have chick die young do you check the crop to see if they have eaten shavings and that what killed them.

    why take a chance

    Definitely!! Why take a chance! They don't necessarily ingest them on purpose! I knew of someone who's chick injected shavings at two days old and the poor chick didn't make it! Using shavings at a young age is just not worth it!
  10. journey11

    journey11 Songster

    Feb 14, 2009
    I've never had them do that before...I use newspaper the first day only and after that they just know where their food is and go for it. If you have a Tractor Supply Co. near you, go there and ask for pine flake shavings. They carry both kinds, the flake and the fine shavings, but the flakes are such large pieces that they'd not be able to ingest those.

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