Chicks eating pine shavings?!?


8 Years
Sep 15, 2011
My chicks are eating pine shavings.... they are eating food, too, but definitely picking at the pine shavings. I have read that this is bad. I kept them on top of paper towels on top of the shavings for the first few days, then took the paper towels off. Should I take the shavings out? I had a previous batch of chicks on pine shavings before I even knew they might eat them and nobody had any problems. I see some people here have their chicks on pine shavings pretty early. My goodness, am I just worrying too much?
i have had all mine on pine shavings after a week old once they know what food is and they are all fine ,you will find they prob not actually eating them just playing with them im sure they will be fine dont worry
I agree that your chicks will be fine. I also had heard that pine shavings/saw dust, if consumed, would cause pasty-butt or otherwise mess up a chick's digestive system. However, I have not had this prove true in my experience with three batches of chicks thus far. My recent batch pecked at shavings, too, and no digestive problems. And let's face it, nothing takes away the chicken poop smell like pine shavings.

Take care and have fun with your chicks!
X2 Also I've only read about sawdust being bad as it looks so much like crumble chic starter. They should be fine on shavings.
Mine have always done exactly as you described. I am careful to offer chick grit at the third day sprinkled over their food like salt, and then offered in a separate hopper at two weeks of age, which is the age at which they stop devouring grit as if it were food when offered to them (overconsuming it when given to them in large quantities).

I have never seen crop problems in chicks after observing them eating some shavings here and there.
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