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chicks eating pine shavings....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dwegg, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. dwegg

    dwegg Songster

    My almost 4 week olds love to scratch around and eat the pine shavings in their brooder? They love to scratch through their food and find the shavings that have fallen in...is this safe to eat? They eat quite a bit of them....

  2. TheFarmMama

    TheFarmMama Songster

    Nov 4, 2009
    Stafford, VA
    Well, I've got 15 5-6wk olds and they're healthy as horses despite eating the shavings so my guess would be they'll be okay. I'm sure someone else will have better advice, maybe a better type of bedding for them or something [​IMG]
  3. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    I doubt it will hurt them, but are you sure they're eating the shavings and not just pecking stuff out of the shavings? My 24 x 6week olds peck through the shavings, but I don't think they actually eat the wood.

    I've never heard of the shavings being bad for them though. And they eat dirt and gravel, so I can't imagine a little wood hurts them.
  4. dwegg

    dwegg Songster

    yes it doesn't seem to hurt them? should I/ can I put other small foods in there as treats? What treats are safe for 4week old chicks?
  5. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    I would say at 4 weeks they can have veggies, scrambled eggs, small amounts of bread (I think I saw somewhere a suggestion of crushed cherios too, but be careful on the cereal as it has salt and sugar added). If you do give them treats, be sure they have some chick grit (not chicken grit; it seems to be a bit large for chicks). I got my chick grit at tractor supply. I just put it in a clip on bowl on the side of their pen and they have free choice.

    If you can't get to tractor supply, or if they're out, you can use playground sand or another coarse grain sand as a temporary solution. I went to walmart and bought a simple plastic cat litter box and filled it with play sand and put it in the cage with the chickens. It's so fun to watch them dustbathe in it. Mine are also dustbathing in the pine shavings too.

    Good luck and have fun. BTW, Grant Park isn't that far away from me! Well, by ATL standards it is (about 30-35 miles), but by BYC standards, we're neighbors!
  6. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Mine eat the shavings all the time...no biggie. They make enough of a mess with their food and flip it around into the shavings, I just let them have that...I don't feed treats until mine are around 12 weeks or so.
  7. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    My 39 weeks olds eat shavings, too. [​IMG] Just be sure they have nutritious food available, so they aren't eating shavings to fill themselves up.

    As far as treats go... if you offer anything besides their starter crumbles, any treat other than extremely soft food like scrambled eggs or yogurt, they will need appropriate-size grit to be able to digest it. And make sure their treats don't compose more than 10% of their overall daily food intake.

    I gave my baby chicks a few treats, after they reached about 6 weeks. Little bits of blueberries, crumbled hardboiled egg, or chopped greens. They LOVED IT!

  8. dwegg

    dwegg Songster

    Great.. so I should wait a little while to introduce treats..I will get some sand in the meantime..but I do watch them and they spend a lot of time actually eating the pine chips...they do pick the pine chips out of their food..maybe they think they are treats or something...I gave them some scrambled egg on the weekend and they didn't touch it?
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Remember that a chick's beak is their hands and everything is going to go in the mouth - just like little kids - so they can find out what's edible and what's not.
    Try a bit of chopped hard boiled egg with them. Once they realize it's food they usually have a blast playing keepaway.
    You have to leave new foods in with them for awhile; long enough for them to get the idea that it's not something that's there to kill them. Use the same bowl every time, preferably a brightly colored one. They'll learn to expect good things from that bowl.
  10. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    i dont think ive ever had a problem with chicks eating shavings but little ducklings eat them all the time it doesnt hurt any little tummies and ive never heard giving hard boiled eggs!

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