Is it okay for chickens to eat shavings?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Danaashh, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Danaashh

    Danaashh Out Of The Brooder

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    My girls love eating their shavings and it makes me really nervous. Whenever I put fresh shavings on the floor they get excited, start doing their chicken shuffle and eat them for days. Obviously they aren't eating all of them, but is it okay for them to consume? Were winterizing the coop this weekend and I need to decide between putting shavings or hay down. Thanks!
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Its fine for chickens to eat some shavings (mine do it too). However, if they eat too many, it can impact their crop. I've never had that happen with my birds, though.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Are you using regular baled pine shavings like you get from TSC or feed stores, or something else? For older birds, that is what I mainly use, as do a lot of other people, and the chickens will spend a lot of time scratching through them and picking some little bits up (who knows what looks edible to a chicken) but they usually don't really eat them to any extent. As long as they have access to grit, they shouldn't have problems with eating a few bits of shavings. If they eat a whole lot they could get impacted crops, but that actually seems to happen more often with hay with the long strands. If the shavings seem particularly dirty, I have gotten bales of shavings occasionally that must have had a lot of bark in them or something, but they were not typical bales, I usually return those or use them for something besides bedding.
    Do you free feed your girls, or how are they fed?
     
  4. Danaashh

    Danaashh Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    We use baled shavings from a local mill. They have a free choice hopper of pellets, and they get corn and other snacks in the afternoon. I think that they're jut picking around, excited to find something good, as they only seem to do it when we put new ones in. I just wanted to make sure that it wouldn't hurt them to eat it.
     

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