My chicks are eating pine shavings!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by calebc311, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. calebc311

    calebc311 In the Brooder

    Dec 31, 2013
    East Bay California
    Our chicks are eating pine shavings and pecking at cardboard. How big is this problem and how do I fix their habits? Advice is very appreciated!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  2. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    How old are they? I use a few layers of paper towels in the brooder for the first few days before I use shavings. After I change to shavings I usually provide a little bit of fine grit and start giving offering small amounts of shredded greens. I have not noticed that my chicks really ate the shavings (or only tiny amounts) but they pecked and scratched around a lot. Never had a problem though. The cardboard always gets pecked on......I usually switch the boxes out (move to bigger/cleaner boxes as needed) and they never really pecked big holes in any of the boxes. You can also provide some other 'entertainment' as long as it is safe. I have a plush toy (big chicken) that serves a surrogate mom (chicks sit under the fabric wings.....) and later also as a play area as the chicks climb all over it. I just have to wash it often as it gets messy. Be careful with loose threads or strings if you do that as the chicks will peck and possibly try to eat stuff. I also like to put a small branch or two in the brooder once the chickens are a couple of weeks old, they learn to jump and sit on them. Providing some distraction may help but chicks will explore and peck pretty much anything. You can also try a big plastic bin to avoid the cardboard pecking if its bad enough.
    2 people like this.
  3. Wabbit Mama

    Wabbit Mama Hatching

    Feb 6, 2014
    Northern California
    I use wood stove pellets for chicks as I was warned that babies will try to ingest the shavings. They peck at them a little, but they're too big for them to eat.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Use the large flake pine shavings....too large to get into their mouths. And give them something to do...take a clump of dirt, with the grass intact, and place in their brooder...they will have a ball! They will also get minerals, fine natural grit, and low exposure to the coccidia levels that are in the soils where you live.
    2 people like this.

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