freaking out about shavings

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cici_p, May 6, 2009.

  1. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    I have had my chicks and ducks (and one goose) on towels since I got them, since I was worried about them eating shavings. They are all now 2-4 weeks old and I decided to switch over to pine shavings, since I am tired of the horrendous mess they are making, and I share a washer and drier with renters, so don't want to offend them with duck poo in the wash. . .I thought two weeks old would be old enough that they wouldn't go nuts on the shavings, but when I put the shavings in the brooder they all went after them like it was candy! I let them go for a few minutes thinking they would stop, but they didn't. After a few minute I went ahead and put the towels on over the shavings because I am freaked out they will stuff their little selves full of the shavings.
    Can somebody tell me what to do here? I really wanted to switch them to shavings but don't want to come home to dead babies!!
    Oh, and the only shavings I could find are the smaller kind, couldn't find any of the bigger flakes.
  2. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Line your shaving with several layers of paper towels. That will bust up there fun.
  3. SueNH

    SueNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2007
    With no fingers, a bill is the only way for a new baby to explore new textures. Stop worrying.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't have any great suggestions for you. I've never encountered that problem.

    I would suggest you offer them grit so they can grind up the shavings they eat and better get them through their system. I'll not tell you that this takes away all the danger of them eating too many shavings as it will not stop an impacted craw, but I think it reduces the risk some. Just my personal opinion. No science to back it up.

    Good luck. I hope others will help more than me.
  5. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    Whoops, just realized I posted this in the wrong section. Sorry [​IMG]
    I am trying to stop worrying but it is hard! *whine*
    I still have the blanket over it so they can taste test without so much area. Hopefully when I take it off they will be adapted on not feel the need to shove all of them in their mouth.
    no one has had a problem with this?
  6. DANNY

    DANNY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    I have been using shavings for years and never had a problem. They will peck at them for a while but will stop. They are just like kids with a new toy.
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I don't agree with the paper towel suggestion - they are slippery and can cause leg problems. My chicks lived on shavings from day one and they do peck at them and eat a little bit, but as long as they are not cedar shavings, it should be fine. They'll slow down once the novelty wears off, I think.
  8. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    Central Virginia
    before you really start worrying, make sure they are actually ingesting the shavings. when i put mine on shavings (after shredded paper towels) they started to peck at them... i got worried too, but i noticed they weren't actually ingesting them, just tasting, or putting them in their beaks and spitting them out... they finally got used to them and quit...

    i'd watch them on the shavings and you'll probably notice that they're not actually eating them...
  9. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    Yeah, I was watching really closely because I was hoping to see them spit them out, but it did really look like they were swallowing them. . .
    But I will also admit to being paranoid and an over-reactive parent. . .

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