Hampster Bath Sand for Baby Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by anc2908, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have some left over "Critter Bath" from when we had a hampster and I have read about a lot of people giving their chicks access to a dust bath at just a couple weeks old so I wondered if this would work for them as well as it does hampsters. My concern is that they will eat it rather than bathe in it. Has anyone ever used this for chicks still in a brooder before?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If it is like sand and doesn't have calcium added to it, it will be fine.

    Chicks will taste everything, and sometimes eat considerable amounts, but it won't hurt them as long as they have plenty of fresh water to drink which flushed out their system.

    I always supply my chicks with sand or peat moss for dirt bathing, even as young as two weeks.
     
  3. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I unfortunately threw the box away and just have the bag so I'm not 100% sure what the brand was but looking on petsmart.com it seems like the only brand they sell is made of volcanic ash pumice as the only ingredient. I would imagine if it's safe for hampsters it would be safe for chickens but I actually have some peat Moss on hand I may just do that. Do you usually give them free choice in the brooder? I thought it may make less of a mess to individually put them in a small area with supervision but didn't know which way would work best.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If it's just volcanic ash, it probably is safe. Some hamster bath sand is calcium carbonate which is bad for chicks, and others are made from silica sand which would cause respiratory problems in chicks and hamsters alike. Remember that a lot of the products sold here are made in China. They don't always have the controls over safety that we would prefer, so one cannot just assume that a product is safe for the animal for which it is intended. Remember all the dogs and cats that died a some years ago from the bad pet food from China?

    On edit, I just looked up the mineral components of volcanic ash. Some is very high in silica, so unless you have label stating the mineral content of your hamster sand, you'd best not use it.

    Learn to google! All the information in the world is at your finger tips!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  5. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea I tried Google first but no definitive answers about using it for chickens. Just hoping for some first hand advice, but I believe to be on the safe side I'll just go with some good old dirt and peat moss for now.
     
  6. tdc1999

    tdc1999 New Egg

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    I am at a loss, I was told that sand really made a nice flooring instead of pine shavings. But how old do they have to be before I let the baby chicks on it? I am afraid they will eat too much. Any suggestions or answers?
     
  7. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I honestly would stick with pine shavings. It's SAFE. but what I do is place paper towels over the pine shavings. I do this for several reasons, one, I can monitor their poop and make sure things are looking good, Two, it's much easier to clean just roll them up and toss them, Three, it keeps their water Clean as shavings Always end up in their water making it nasty to drink, and Third it keeps them from Eating the shavings. They don't usually eat much but it's wood and until they are older a bit I keep the paper towel over the pine.i wouldn't use sand personally because their is a Chance they eat too much and die. They are like little babies. With very young developing systems. I DO introduce CHICK grit at about week 2 so I can give treats. They can't process treats without the grit for their gizzards.Hope this helps and explains things!!
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's certainly possible that an occasional chick may eat too much sand and die, and it's also possible they could eat too much pine shavings and die. And it's also possible they could eat too much of the paper towels and die. I've raised my chicks on both sand and shavings and never seen any problems. Water. Clean fresh water is key. This will flush excess sand from their systems, as well as shavings.

    See the photos of my chicks in their sand chick grow out pen in my second article linked below. They were installed in the sand pen on the second day after I got them in the mail.
     
  9. tdc1999

    tdc1999 New Egg

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    Thank you for all the help, I worked them onto the sand and they are doing great!! I was nervous, but everything has worked out. Now, I am just trying to work 1 week olds in with 2 day olds. The smaller week old birds are in with the 2 day olds and working out good, I will add more each day until everyone is together. Believe it or not the 2 day olds are more curious than the older ones. So far so good!!
     
  10. AngeliqueR

    AngeliqueR Out Of The Brooder

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    I read in another thread that a dust bath could be dirt mixed with sand and ash. Is this true?

    I didn't have much ash available so my dust bath is mostly dirt. I have DE arriving Saturday. Chicks won't touch it: they seem to hate everything I give them except food and water (I've tried various treats like cooked egg, oatmeal, yogurt; nothing). They do really like electrolyte water...that's it).

    Anyways they're ignoring their dust bath. They are 2 weeks old, two larger ones were escaping the brooder so I thought they might like this tall dust bin to perch on (I've doubled the height of the sides) and it would fit all 5 if they got into it. It's been there for 3 hours and this is the closest anyone has gotten to it:

    [​IMG]
     

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