I need an alternative for pine shavings...any advise?


Love my feathered babies!
13 Years
May 29, 2009
My Coop
My Coop
I have found out the hard way that I am very allergic to pine shavings. This is a shock to me because I have had pets that use pine shavings since I was a child. Now I am the proud mama of 2 1/2 week old chicks.

My eyes begin to itch and swell within a few minutes of being near the brooder. I need to find a substrate material that will work now and into their adulthood. Can I use straw or hay? If so...which one is better? I have been informed that straw and hay are not the same thing. Do you have any advise?
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They have stuff at petstores near me... It's small animal bedding, and i think it's made out of fluffed up recylced paper of some sort? I've never used it, cause it's kind of pricey... but it comes in all different colors, not sure what its called though....

You could also get straw or hay?
That bedding is called CareFresh and it is very expensive I use it for my one little guinea pig but would have to make more money than I do to afford the CareFresh in my brooders, if it was cheaper I wouldn't mind using it, it does have pretty colors and would look cool in the brooders. you could match your chicks color to their bedding!

Straw or hay would work too but it might be hard for the chicks to walk in, might get their little feet tangled up in it, that has just been my experience with that type of bedding.. What about aspen?
I've heard of some that use sand, but I would think you'd have to scoop that alot. Don't know if it would be hard on their feet or not. Might work.
I was having lots of migraine headaches that the dr. couldn't find the source of...she sent me to an allergist...after being around dogs my entire life...now at age 63 when I went to the allergist...test positive for DOGS!! They wanted me to get rid of my four house dogs..Shih-Tzu breed. I refused, dr's got mad, but I can live with the headaches but cannot live without my dogs. Lesson of this story..............you can develop allergies at any point in your life. Happy to report, I no longer have migraines, just take a couple Excedrin Migraine tablets when I felt one coming on. They have now completely stopped. I also have a friend who has always eaten shell fish, now she has developed a life threatening allergy to to them. So it doesn't matter, it could be the chickens or it could be the shavings.
Oh lord! I hope I never spontaneously become allergic to birds!

I would dress up in the craziest looking outfit complete with helmet and booties in order to go see my birds without falling over dead

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