Eating shavings?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Frickenchickens, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Frickenchickens

    Frickenchickens In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2011
    I'm a new chicken-mom, with 7 babies (2 RIRs, 2 gold sex-links, 2 Wyandottes, and one black australorpe). The chickens all seem healthy and happy, about a month old (I'm not sure how old they were when we got them). They were all the same size when we brought them home, but now the wyandottes are significantly smaller, and are not getting their feathers as quickly as the others. I thought maybe it was a breed thing, but I have noticed that those two do not spend as much time at the feeder as the others, and I have seen them scratching in the pine shavings more, and then they peck at them, and if you look closely you can see that they are actually eating the smaller bits. Is this normal behavior? Could this be why they aren't growing as fast?

  2. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Crowing

    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    I think chicks eat shavings (mine do!) so long as they don't eat alot of them they should be ok. Maybe it's a pecking order thing, do they eat when the dominant ones aren't eating?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  3. chickensinwasillaAK

    chickensinwasillaAK Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    Wasilla Alaska
    I had 9 week olds and they had plenty of feed available, nobody at the feeder and they'd eat shavings. I think it's just a thing chickens to to confuse us! Don't worry about it, they tend to do what they want and still survive.
  4. Frickenchickens

    Frickenchickens In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2011
    Quote:Yeah, it seems like the reds are always at the feeder, and the sex-links can shove their way in whenever they want, but the little 'dottes wait until it's clear to come in, and then don't stay long. The one australorp just does her own thing, she's already the biggest and is very chill. It also seems like the little ones prefer to eat the food that has fallen around the feeder rather than inside it.
  5. Mine ate shavings in the brooder and I had to stop using them as bedding in the coop because they eventually ate every one of the thin layer I put down when they first went into the coop. It never physically hurt them, but they have no nutritional value, but fill up the crop, so they are not hungry for feed.

  6. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    Mine eat a lot of the shavings too, even though the feed dish is full, they love scratching about looking for things.

    So I sprinkle lots of chick grit and quinoa seeds on top of the shavings. Even the tiny new chicks can eat those. I add millet seeds after the chicks get a week old. Gives them some real food to find for all their efforts. I get the quinoa seeds in the bulk food bins in the health section of the grocery store. It is a very tiny seed.

    I worry about the chips blocking them up inside. This last batch of Brabanters were constantly excavating the whole area, and I had the chips two to three inches deep. They were so busy, I put in a pyrex baking dish of clean sandy dirt from the yard to dust bathe in. They ate a lot of that too. The real dirt seemed to help their poop become normal too. (this is very clean dirt, from virgin forest)

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