Chicks possibly eating pine shavings, problem? Brooder help too!


11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
Seattle, WA
I have 14 three or four day old chicks in a homemade temporary cardboard box brooder and have noticed that a few of them are doing some adorable big-chicken pecking and scratching. The trouble is, I think they are eating tiny pieces of the bedding material. Is this a problem? If so, what can I do before I get their official brooder finished?

The big brooder will have hardware cloth instead of pine shavings so there won't be any trouble with them eating the wrong stuff. This is an outdoor brooder though and I'm wondering what I can do to make sure its warm enough. Here's the plan so far:

Its made out of a frame of 2" x 2" x 5 , and 2" x 2" x 3 pine furring strips. I'm putting up 3/8" OSB plywood on all sides and on the top, with doors at both of the smaller ends, facing out of the wind. The doors will be made by cutting out a hole in the plywood wall and laying a larger piece of plywood over the hole, hinged and latched. For the bottom, the floor will be the hardware cloth and under that will be two under bed storage plastic storage boxes lined with pine shavings to catch the poo.

The brooder will be on 4 inch stilts and the edges will be covered so that the wind doesn't go whistling in and under the floor.

What do you think? I'm guessing two heat lamps should keep it warm enough. Any suggestions?


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