HELP? Chicks eating litter (broken down pellets)???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eponagirl, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. eponagirl

    eponagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Quiet Corner, CT
    Newbie here: My 2 week old chicks (6 total) have begun scratching....everything![​IMG]

    They are scratching to the lower parts of the litter (I used WoodyPet pellets) and it really looks like they are eating the most broken down bits! Is this normal or should I run and change the litter (to what??) Or are they just exploring and this is nothing to worry about? Here is the aftermath as they take a nap:

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  2. eponagirl

    eponagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will the tiny pieces harm them?
     
  3. zippy11455

    zippy11455 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, if it will harm them then mine should be dead by now. Mine will scratch in the bedding and pick through it even though their feeder is full. It's what chickens do.
     
  4. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    DON'T PANIC!!!! What they are picking at is most likely the food they have thrown all over the bottom of the brooder. Look at it closely - if you are still concerned, get pine shavings. It's $2 for a thing of it - cheap. But they do fling their food around!
     
  5. moonflowers

    moonflowers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was really worried about that for awhile but mine survived it fine. I had paper towels down on top of the pellets for their first week then took them up. I saw them pecking and eating the pellets and got concerned but they are now 4 weeks old and doing great. I also panicked when I put sand in there for their dust baths and they seemed to be swallowing it down but that didn't seem to bother them either and they are still growing! They now love the dust baths and I have no worries about the pellets. When I originally ordered my chicks my friend was splitting the batch with me but I had to watch hers for the 1st week since she was going on vacation. She had hers on wood shavings and the smell was much stronger from hers than from mine with the pellets. But I would say if you are majorly concerned just switch to PINE shavings (NOT CEDAR). Hope that helps, as you can see I am pretty new at this.
     
  6. eponagirl

    eponagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much!! Perhaps this is a typical newbie question?!

    The chicks seem to be doing fine, but this just began. They started in on an area that had no food in it and I watched them eat the pellet fines off the cardboard floor. I have shavings for my horses, but even the fluffy ones have smaller particles mixed in and after reading many discussions here, I decided to go for the pellets in the brooder. So far I am very pleased with them (other than the freak out over them eating/pecking away like fiends!) No dust, no smell, very dry, easy to stir around and just add more. It is WoodyPet and all pine.

    They do love their new feeder (it is bigger and swings!) so I know they are eating that too.

    It makes me feel better to get reassured by others who have seen this behavior. Anything to look out for if they are eating too much of the "fines"?
     

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