Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dadsgirl, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. dadsgirl

    dadsgirl Songster

    Jun 30, 2008
    jay, florida
    i have heard that you are not supposed to use newspaper for the bottom of newly hatched chicks, is this true?? and if so , why??
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    It can be too slick for them and lead to some leg problems.
  3. You should never use newspaper. It is slippery and will lead to spraddle leg.
  4. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    Use paper towels, because newspaper is slippery and hard for them to stand on. It can cause Spraddle Leg, where their legs (1 or both) spread out to the sides and they can't stand or walk right.
  5. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    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.
  6. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    do i really type that slow that 4 others posted in the time it took me to type 2 lines [​IMG]
  7. Scratchn By

    Scratchn By Songster

    Nov 7, 2008
    East Texas
    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![​IMG]

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    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.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  9. AnKa

    AnKa In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2009
    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.
  10. NanaKat

    NanaKat Free Ranging

    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.

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