Eating woodshavings?!

UKchooks

Chirping
Nov 18, 2018
49
121
96
Hi, hope I've posted this in the right section.

So I got my three first-ever hens today! Warren hybrids, 5 months old. As advised by the farm, I set the coop up with woodshavings under the perches and straw in the nest boxes. I popped them in the attached run and they seemed to enjoy exploring the run and scratching for bugs (don't think they've ever seen grass before). I gave them a little carrot and butternut as treats, as it was late afternoon by the time I got them and they'd had layers pellets all morning. But they seemed more interested in pecking at the bits of woodshavings that had spilled out of the coop! When it got dark, they trotted happily into the coop to roost. But I'm a bit concerned that they've eaten some woodshavings and it will give them impacted crop or something?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,287
29,195
1,002
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Mine eat the wood shavings every time they lay an egg. They sit in the nesting box and graze on shavings until they lay.

Oh, same here. Any tiny shavings within reach get snacked on. If they're not doing that, then they're usually grabbing longer wood chips/small branches and arranging them around the nest box.
 

UKchooks

Chirping
Nov 18, 2018
49
121
96
If they don't have access to rocky garden soil or gravel, make sure to provide some granite grit to help them break down the wood and treats.

Thanks, I will do. Is it best to mix the grit in with their layers pellets or just have it available separately?

Also, I am planning on making them a dust bath from a tray filled with kids' play-sand. When they have this, will the sand replace the need for grit or will they still need grit too?

Many thanks :)
 

twilightgecko

Songster
May 25, 2016
507
788
211
Upstate N.Y.
mine have grit available to them, but it seems they've picked up this wood shaving snacking from a new hen i rescued.. and my girls are healthy.. i figure they should know how much is too much..
 

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
370
647
176
Canada
Thanks, I will do. Is it best to mix the grit in with their layers pellets or just have it available separately?

Also, I am planning on making them a dust bath from a tray filled with kids' play-sand. When they have this, will the sand replace the need for grit or will they still need grit too?

Many thanks :)
always separately

they don't have to have grit for pellets (which break into powder) - only if you also give them whole grains, grass, veggies, food scraps, etc. If they have access to outdoors dirt, they usually can find some.

sand is not equal grit - it is usually too small and round. For grit they would want to gobble the biggest rocks they can gobble. Sand goes through them like poop through a goose, they want something that would stay in the gizzard to use for grinding,
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom