Litter/ bedding question for 2-3wk chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JennT, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. JennT

    JennT Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2013
    So everything is a go for our chicks (yay!). Since we are buying local, our chicks will be 2 and 3 weeks old (we are getting 5) . This time of year, they will be in the house that young. I've looked at some various threads regarding litter, and I am still undecided.
    I want to compost as much as I can, but that means the litter needs to be organic (I can't use the stuff that has the soybean oil in it). I have Swheat Scoop for my cats, as well as sand. Would either of those be alright for the chicks? Should I cave and buy something else?
    Thanks!
     
  2. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My concern about both of these products would be that the chicks would eat them and not only get some dropping in their bellies, but also fill their bellies with bedding instead of their food. When they are a bit older, sand works really well. until then, I would really recommend pine shavings. if you go to an organic garden supply store, you should be able to get the special kind you want, but, really, the stuff you get at tractor supply is great, and I am not aware of any additives.
     
  3. CityCraft

    CityCraft Out Of The Brooder

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    The pine shavings are your best bet. I add them to my compost bin. Not sure if they have any additives but I'm sure it's minimal at best. The other thing is that chick poop is really runny and sticks to everything. The two you mentioned would create large clumps and just as Jnntefend mentioned, they might be tempted to eat it and clog up their systems. Stick to the tried and true. Good luck!
     
  4. JennT

    JennT Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, the added stuff was for something of a cover mix I saw on here when I searched, and I'd rather not have artificially flavored bedding. I imagined that cleaning would still be daily, but saw posts where people clean every few. With the shavings, would it be every day, and is it like cleaning the hamster cage from when I was a kid where you replace it all?
     
  5. Flock in SF

    Flock in SF Out Of The Brooder

    I'm using a mix of Timothy and Alfalfa Hay. The chicks love to scratch and peck at the seed heads and it goes straight into the compost box when I clean out the brooder, which is a 36" kiddie pool with walls and chicken wire up top to support the UVA/B ZooMed 5.0 bulb and it also makes sure that the heating element won't fall in. they seem to be doing great... Have fun and good luck!
     
  6. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depending on how tightly thy are packed in there, here's what I do with the pine shavings: I put a nice, thick layer down, and that stays clean for at least a few days, sometimes a week, then I lay another layer down. When this layer is soiled, I scoop the whole thing out compost it, and lay a fresh layer down.
     
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  7. JennT

    JennT Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! It all seems like common sense to use the shavings, but being new, it's like I want to question everything, lol! Someone suggested using shredded paper, like junk mail and various paper I would throw away to run through the shredder and use. My husband (who hasn't raised chicks since he was our daughter's age), wondered if they would end up eating the paper if we did that. It certainly wouldn't be my go-to method, as I imagine it would stink, but what if we needed it in a pinch? Would it be ok as in not harmful? And no, I'm not so irresponsible that we would run out of necessities lol, but I can imagine a few scenarios where that would happen.
     
  8. CrazyPetunias

    CrazyPetunias Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 10 chicks about the same age (3wks) in a homemade pen in my garage. My pen does not have a bottom to it so I can move it into the yard when the weather finally warms up.

    I lay newspaper thick on the bottom - just sheets of it - not shredded. Then I add a 3" layer of pine shavings and add a small cup of Sweet PDZ on top. Also, I have the feed and water sitting on a tote lid (about 2" off the ground) to keep the pine shavings out of them (this helps alot to keep them clean).

    I replace it all about 2x a week. I use the sheets of newspaper from the bottom to roll up/fold up the shavings and all and put them in a wheelbarrow. Got a spot picked out back to dump the mess.

    btw - the Sweet PDZ is a deodorizer and helps with the smell.
     
  9. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Paper will probably be OK. It will look sometimes like they are eating the paper, but they will do the same thing with the pine. The trouble with the paper is, it won't be very absorbant so you will have to clean it out more often. Also, it will get a bit matted when it gets wet. And don't use the glossy stuff.
     

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