How do I get silica free sand for a brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tezolt, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. tezolt

    tezolt In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2014
    Does anyone know of where to get silica free sand for a brooder? The chicks are coming early next week Would All-purpose sand be okay if it has silica? Personal experiences would be a great help!
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    chicks don't know much at first, I would not use sand. It's just the right size for them to eat and it will kill them. Use towels or paper towels for the first couple weeks then change to pine shavings or straw. [​IMG]
  3. losttexan

    losttexan Songster

    Jan 24, 2014
    Lubbock, TX
    Choice of bedding in brooders/coops can be a touchy subject. Everyone has their preferences, and disagreements are often considered "fighting words" much like Coke vs. Pepsi, Microsoft vs. Apple, or Patriots vs. Seahawks. [​IMG]

    I don't think you'll find much disagreement, however, that sand is not appropriate for baby chicks. Day-old chicks need cushion and they need good traction. Providing both things helps to prevent spraddle-leg, slipped tendons, and a whole host of other maladies.

    Folks differ on how they provide this. I myself use a bed of 4-6" of pine shavings with cut open feed sacks to cover the shavings (because some chicks will eat them). The feed sacks by themselves are much too slippery, so I cover them with a layer of (like JPB mentioned) paper towels. The towels provide traction and are easy to roll up and change when the chicks dirty them (and dirty them they will). The shavings provide cushion until they are old enough to not eat shavings, get their food from a feeder (as opposed to me having to sprinkle it on the paper towels), and be producing too much waste/mess for paper towels to handle.
    1 person likes this.
  4. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I always use play sand covered with paper towels for the first couple of days. Its way easier to keep clean than pine shavings IMO. I made a pooper scooper with a wire hanger bent to shape and attached window screen. I have little problem with pasty butt. Chickies love to dust bathe in thhe sand and don't need grit vfor treats. I'm never going back to pine shavings in the brooder.

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