Litter Help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Oktober, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Oktober

    Oktober Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
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    When we got our new chicks this week, we had the brooder with a few inches of pine shavings in it. When the fuzzballs got into the brooder, they immediately started pecking at the shavings and trying to eat them. So my wife and I pulled the chicks back out and put down a layer of paper towel over the shavings and quickly put the chicks back in the brooder. I had read about the paper towel trick, and it seems to be working.

    A couple questions:

    1. How often should I change out the paper towel layer? In a day, there is a considerable amount of poop on the towels, so we've been trying to change it out daily, but should we do this more often, or are we being overprecautious?

    2. How long should be keep the paper towel layer in place? How long should we wait until chicks start understanding the difference between food and bedding?

    I have to admit that when we first put the paper towels down, we sprinked some feed over a section of it. The chicks loved it and for about 20 minutes, my wife and I were entertained by these 2 day olds as they pecked over the entire area. Very cool.

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

    -Okt
     
  2. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    I used paper towel only for about the first week, maybe less and then switched over to pine shavings. I changed the paper towel about 3 times a day because I had 5 chicks in a small plastic bin. The chicks started pecking at the paper towel right before I switched to pine shavings. It was cute to see them take their first dust bath in pine shavings and I don't have to clean it as often as I probably have about 2" of shavings in there and when they scratch, they turn it over.
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hi OKT!

    Getting your first chicks is so much fun....Congrats!

    I use a paper towel (Bounty) for the first maybe three days. And I do change it often. They do seem to go crazy when I sprinkle the chick crumbles on it.

    I've never had a chick eat pine shavings and die from it......They do just peck at everything, but they seem to know the difference from food and shavings......

    Good luck with the chicks! We love to see pics......

    Sharon
     
  4. Oktober

    Oktober Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Rhode Island
    Quote:Since BYC doesn't host images (or at least I have not found a way to do it yet), where do you usually upload your images so you can link them to these forum posts?

    Thanks!

    -Okt
     
  5. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Since BYC doesn't host images (or at least I have not found a way to do it yet), where do you usually upload your images so you can link them to these forum posts?

    Thanks!

    -Okt

    You should be able to post pics after you've made 10 posts in the forum. This is meant to avoid problems with spamming.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Here is info. on how to post pics:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=504

    If your chicks are eating from their feeders, it's safe to remove the paper towels IMO.

    I've never used the paper towels - chicks go straight on the pine shavings. Never lost a chick from eating shavings. Just like human kids, they are going to pick things up and put it in their mouths. It's how they figure out what's food and what's not.
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I've used paper towels and I have a dedicated cloth that I can throw in the wash. A good quality paper towel makes a huge difference; don't want it to break apart during clean up.

    I was comfortable with 2 weeks with the clothe or paper towels over the shavings base. I do have some concerns about having some grit available if they do eat the shavings. WHEN they eat the shavings! I catch my older birds poking holes in the shavings bag just to get the shavings. What's up with that? GL
     
  8. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    2. How long should be keep the paper towel layer in place? How long should we wait until chicks start understanding the difference between food and bedding?

    My BA's are 19 weeks old and still think food and shavings are one and the same. I was using a thin layer of aspen shavings in their coop, but stopped when they ate every one of them.​
     
  9. Oktober

    Oktober Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Rhode Island
    Taking the advice from several of the people on this forum, I kept the paper towels in the brooder for 4-5 days when the chicks were regularly eating out of the feeder. The morning we decided to put the chicks onto pine shavings directly, the scratching began. What a riot! Now their water has to be changed more often (due to the scratching kicking up pine shavings), but it is hillarious to watch them work through the bedding.

    -Okt
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:You can raise the waterer up on something to help keep it clean. It should be about level with the smallest chicks back, so that they have to reach just a little to get a drink. It won't keep the water spotless, but it helps.
     

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