can cause spraddle leg because they dont get the grip they need, best to use paper towel , its easier to clean too. I put my paper towel over wood chips, then as they dirty the towel I remove it after a couple days(when they know where thier food is) I remove the paper towels.
Their feet are not meant for smooth, flat surfaces...
I've never had any problems, but have heard of some. I went to the feed store and bought burlap bags. They work great. You can cut them and double their size. If they get soiled you can shake them out, hang and rinse with the hose. Just make sure you let them dry really good in the sun.
My chicks have wall to wall burlap! Spoiled brats!
Newspaper is too slick and can cause spraddle leg. A very popular way is to use pine shavings, but cover the shavings for a couple of days with paper towels so they learn what is food. I've seen postings on here where chicks have died because of eating a lot of the shavings. It is rare, but I believe it could happen. Don't use cedar as the oils give them respiratory problems.
You can actually use newspaper, but you have to cover it with something to give them good footing. You can put window screen or 1/4" hardware cloth over newspaper. I saw where someone used porous shelf liner. With these, you just rinse this covering off when you change out the newspaper.
If you can make sure it will not cause a draft from underneath, you can use 1/4" hardware cloth so he poop goes straight through.
PS: I can't count the posts since I started typing.
Mine are on newspaper but there is wire mesh on top of the newspaper. It is super easy to clean this way - the poop falls through the wire onto the newspaper. They don't slip. They were on paper towel at first.
The older ones are on pine shavings now, but early on they tried to eat those, which my book says is really bad. My book says no pine shavings for a month but I did 2 weeks.
I have to say I like the burlap. But I'm the girl who tiled the chicken coop with a checkerboard pattern in terracotta LOL.
Another problem caused by slick surfaces like newspaper is that fecal matter builds up on the bottoms of the chicks feet and causes burning. You can then find bloody cracks leading to infection in their little feet.
Scratching on a rough surface loosens the poop and keeps the feet clean.