10 Years
Feb 7, 2009
New York STATE
What do you think is best???

We are getting baby chicks on Sunday or Monday (heavy Breeds).

When they are little babies should we put newspaper or papertowels down on top of the pine wood chips?
I have read different books and stuff on websites that say different things.

Also how long should put it down 1 day or 3 days??
People say different things.

I am confused!

Thanks for your help!

I always use newspaper on top of pine chips for 2 days only. I think paper towel is easier for them to peck apart and eat. The reason to put anything on top of the pine chips is to keep the chicks from eating the pine instead of their food, so putting something down that could be easily eaten sort of defeats the purpose. Once they have discovered what food is, the newspaper can be removed. The reason not to keep it on too long is that it does not provide as sure a footing as the pine chips, and poor footing can lead to leg problems. Hope this helps.
Newspaper is too slick, can cause splayed leg, stick with paper towels so they can grip it. I've always been told Newspaper is a no no.

Hey Trista:

i'll throw my two cents worth in...

i have brooded on newspaper, wood shavings, and just screen (1/8 th inch machinists cloth) with newspaper underneath a brooder...and...i don't really think it matters!

probably more of a personal preference. now, mine is in a towel covered brooder cage made of Machinists cloth, with the newspaper underneath. mostly because chicks have a knack of scattering water, food, shed feathers, and droppings everywhere. which means more frequent cleanings. but everything goes right through the machinists cloth (in theory, but not 100%), so all you have to do is take the paper out from under the brooder.

i have often seen posts about the chicks eating paper and especially wood chips, but have never really seen negative effects from that myself!

'course, with the screen, things may tend to be a little drafty unless you are careful. and i also try not to overcrowd, as i really do believe that it leads to picking!

hope this helps
i used newspaper for about a month (i know i over did it) but i crinkled the newspaper into a ball before putting it in then it was not as smooth and gave them some traction so they didnt slip around
Mine have never torn any paper towels apart. Never use newspaper, not only they will not get agrip on that, the ink may harm them, too.
I have chicks now that just hatched one and a half weeks ago and 2 days ago. I used newpaper with paper towels over it for 2 days. Tomorrow I will go with just news paper. Next week I will put in pine shavings. Got to get them used to using the feeder first. I would watch them to make sure they do not eat too much of the pine shavings. I think everyone has their own way of doing things and you will find yours.

It's the way I did it last Oct. and my hens are very healthy and are now laying. Good Luck!!
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I think what I'm going to try next time is new clean potting soil. I've seen a few post about using that or sand for their litter, sounds like a good idea and would hold the heat well.
Also thought using chick starter as litter was a cool idea.. it's pretty cheap, you don't have to worry about them eating it . Just a couple other ideas I've seen....


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