How to use cedar chips in the brooder?


11 Years
Oct 5, 2008
Madisonville, KY
I may be getting some ducklings and/or chicks tomorrow, and I need to find a way to make my brooder easy to clean, and as smell free as possible. (Mom's getting REALLY tired of the smells.) I was thinking with cedar chips I could scoop out the poop clumps easily with a litter scoop or something, and them getting stirred up so much would keep the smell down.

Do I just use the regular chips like people use in hampster cages? I know they have the big packages at Rural King and some smaller ones at WalMart. Anything I need to know about what NOT to get? Do I need to worry about them being a fire hazard with the heat lamp?

Big C

J & C Farms
11 Years
Dec 15, 2008
Vernon Texas
Use pine chips instead. Cedar is toxic (to a degree) to fowl. Search the previous posts on you topic for more information.


Lone Star Call Ducks
10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
I buy mine at the feed store.

I don't know about ducklings, but you have to be careful using shavings with chicks because they may eat them causing crop impaction.

I use pine shavings covered in several layers of paper towels.

Good luck with your new babies!


11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
Do not use cedar shavings with anything. Ever. It is toxic to all animals.

Feedstores are cheaper than petstores for shavings by a lot. Feed stores that are a chain with state or nationwide stores usually aren't as good but still an improvement. If you have a small local feed store go ask them. They can usually get stuff straight from a mill or something like pestel shavings. However these are not screened as closely, which is why they can get them cheaper, and will have a wide variety of sizes and occasionally chunks of wood. The bags will be 3 times bigger for one half the cost though. I also can get spruce shavings which work exactly the same as pine but have a lot less of the toxic oils found in all softwoods and in excessive amounts in cedar. Kiln dried shavings will cost you more but also have less oils. Pine pellets will cost you even more but have a lot less oils, absorb a lot more moisture, and last much longer.


Wild Egg!
12 Years
Oct 13, 2007
For my ducklings I got tired of the mess, I used a tiny little box inside the brooder with all the pine shavings in it - a box just big enough for them all to cuddle with a piece cut out the side as a door. Outside that box I used bumpy plastic placemats (found in the basement) they were easy to clean for a while
I then moved to the cheapo mats from walmart, they were like $2 each or something, like a carpet square... I still kept the little box filled with shavings, and the carpet squares outside that. I bought four squares of carpet and changed it every day (two at a time to cover the floor) I took the dirty ones outside and hosed them off and left them in the sun to dry till the next change over.
Last edited:


10 Years
Apr 7, 2009
I get my pine shavings at Tractor Supply. I used them in my brooder and just put down a layer about 2" thick and then scooped out the clumps and replensihed with fresh shavings as needed. Worked well and wasn't too stinky.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom