How long do I need to keep the pine shavings covered with paper towels?

thegoodlife1961

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
37
1
32
Arkansas
I know I have read this somewhere, but I can't remember where & can't find the info. I got my chicks yesterday & all are doing great. Only had to deal with 2 pasty butts this morning, otherwise,everything is good. I have my pine shavings covered with paper towels & sprinkled feed on the paper towels. The info I read said to do this until they learn where their feed is, I think? Well, since I sprinkled feed on the paper towels, they were totally ignoring the feeder until I opened the lid. Now, they are walking on the inside of the feeder & eating that way. Plus, I still sprinkled some on the floor, just not as liberally as yesterday. How long will it take for them to learn to eat thru the little openings on their feeder when its closed & how old will they be before no worries of them eating the pine shavings? It is flaked pine shavings from TSC, not the fine stuff.
 

chickzndahood

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
158
3
71
lol when i got my chicks i just left them alone to eat out of the food dish themselves. mine learned how to eat themselves but i heard some people kind of stick the chick beaks into the food and water and they eventually learn how to eat and drink. ive only had one batch before so i never done this before.
 

Jakoda

Songster
7 Years
Apr 12, 2012
651
46
131
Old Lyme CT
I used a baby chick feeder with mine and they were fine, they figure it out fast..

I put a layer of shavings down, and cover with paper towels for 3 days, by then they are investigating and digging around anyhow, haven't had any problems with mine eating shavings.
 

brewsroos

Hatching
7 Years
Jan 1, 2013
3
0
7
Williamston, SC
I have adult hens and I just purchased 6 baby hens at Tractor Supply. They are in between feathers and fuzz. BUT they are not active, they act like they have a hard time walking. I have put sugar in their water and wet their food. I don't know what else to day. I don't have paper towels on my shavings, maybe that is why? Any ideas please let me know. I have had them 3 or 4 weeks now, and I just feel terrible. I change their water daily. I have them in a dog crate for a very large dog. I have a light on them for heat. They are in my laundry room so it isn't breezy. Thanks
 

tabilheu

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
23
0
24
Northern Wisconsin
I'm also new to chicks but I never had to use paper towels. I just put pine shavings in the brooder and food in their feeder. They had no problems finding their food or water and no problems eating or drinking.
 

FrogEggs

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
142
6
78
I put their food in the feeder from day 1. It's day 5, and every time I remove the paper towels, my little freaks eat the pine shavings, and put them in their water and food....
 

Blue

Songster
9 Years
Apr 6, 2010
912
22
171
Virginia
That's odd. The shavings shouldn't cause problems for them at all by that age. Are you using cedar or just regular pine shavings? I know cedar shavings can cause respiratory problems sometimes, but that doesn't really sound like what's going on. I'd try switching the sugar water out for some unpasteurized apple cider vinegar water and see if that makes a difference. It couldn't hurt.
 

thegoodlife1961

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
37
1
32
Arkansas
As an update, I took up the paper towels this morning. To show them how to eat out of the holes in their feeders, I put some oatmeal/cornmeal mixture on top of their feed. They love that & were sticking their heads in the holes like they are supposed to & chowing down like crazy! Looks like everything will be ok. Sometimes, I'm just a worry-wart! :)
 

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