oats for brooder bedding - your thoughts please

Discussion in 'Quail' started by yallapilko, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    I ready using oats as brooder bedding , increasing it over a number of days, was a good choice.
    Has anyone out there tried it.
    What are your thoughts on it?
    I would like to use it (I've got some chicks ready next weekend), but would like more advice on the subject.
    I've heard it can cause toe-balling, but is better than shavings as it's digestible...
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Never heard of using oats as bedding. My adult quail would eat every scrap of bedding if kept on this stuff. LOL I have never had trouble with quail eating shavings. Chickens are famous for eating bags of shavings as chicks...LOL, but I have never had any issues with quail.

    As far as balling on feet, I would imagine this type of bedding will clump and stick to feet. It might also grow bacteria as well.
     
  3. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I take it iyou use wood shavings for your chicks then, without any problems....?
    I've heard about using oats in a few places..... maybe it's a Uk thing!!
    Also, it mentions it in 'Backyard Quail' by Kate Buchanan..... again Uk author.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Actually, I don't use bedding for my quail. I raise them on wire. Prevents cocci, but allows them to develop immunity. I then keep them on a litter floor for grow out, breeding and the rest of their days.

    I have used wood shavings occasionally, for chicks, with no problems with them eating it. My chickens all must have eaten 50 pounds of shavings as chicks, LOL, but the quail never seemed to bother eating it. Maybe it was too large to eat.

    But no, I have never heard of using oats as bedding. If it works, then go for it. :)
     
  5. James Marie

    James Marie Out Of The Brooder

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    In many books and websites overseas they refer to oats as bedding.....I was told by a professor that they say oats is used as bedding...but they are referring to oat straw...
    this is what I was told and have no proof of it...but do know many poultry farmers in the US use it also....I do not use any bedding for my quails...also remember.....if not cleaned regular it is a incubator for diease...
     
  6. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    twocrowsranch- what age do you keep them on wire - how many weeks? From what I understand, the worst time for cocci is 5-6 weeks, so I'm wondering what would be the best bedding system. I've never used oats yet, so I can't say if it works yet...

    James Marie - are you talking about overseas from the USA or elsewhere? I'm in the UK, and the oats referred to in Katies book is described as oatmeal, so, it's unlikely to be straw, although there would be plenty in Scotland, as they grow a lot there. If you don't use bedding, what do you put on the floor, or do you place them on wire?
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Upon hatch, I keep them on paper towels so I can sprinkle feed around the feeder so the quail can figure out where to get their feed. After about 3 days of age, or when ever they figure out the feed situation, I then remove the paper towels and keep them on 1/4 inch hardware cloth. At about 2 1/2 or 3 weeks of age, I switch them to 1/2 inch wire. (the poop is getting too big to fall thru 1/4 wire). They stay on wire until 6 weeks old, where they are then put into the aviaries. All during this brooding time, I offer them a place in the brooder to get off the wire, should they want to rest their feet. I use a small shallow pan with dirt or hay in the corner of the brooder.

    Cocci generally strikes at age 2 to 4 weeks, even later if they have not gained immunity and become overwhelmed with this protozoa.

    Wood shavings, grass hay, sand, dirt, corn cob pellets, leaves, even straw will work for bedding, although straw is not absorbent and can stay wet. I have even heard of folks using shredded newspaper for bedding.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  8. James Marie

    James Marie Out Of The Brooder

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    yes I was referring to your area...Like I said I had no proof of this...it was told to me by a professor at Texas A&M...when I asked the same question about oats as bedding....it is used in the US as a bedding for poultry...We do not use bedding in our brooder room or our production room...brooder room has very thick quailty paper towels...blue type....changed every other day...at day 5 we switch chicks to brooders that have wire floors for 14-15 days then they go to grow out pens with 1/2 x 1 wire floors...all cages in our facility are wire cages...nothing wrong with good quailty bedding if it is changed as needed and clean.....with 12 to 15 thousand quails at all times it would be impossible for us to use bedding with the setup we have.....
     
  9. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    twocrowsranch - thanks, that's a great lot of info. Yes, you're right about the timing for cocci of course... think I was half asleep when writing! And cleaning is most important. But I'm wondering what 1/4 inch hardware cloth is.... I guess we must have a different name for it in the UK. Does the 1/4 refer to the thickness or weave or something? What type of fabric is it? I'm really beginning to see the benefit of the wire floors, for cleaning issues and it's good to know what sizes you use for the different ages. Also that's a great idea to put an area especially for getting off the wire to rest their feet. From all the materials you list, for the bedding, basically, it's got to be something absorbant and obviously cleaned regularly.

    james marie- So, I guess then people have used both the oat straw and the actual oats. Although, I've just never heard (other than the British author I mentioned) anyone using the actual oats themselves, especially as the author says it can contribute to toe balling. I think there must be a better thing to use. I like the sound of the paper towels.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Edited: My apologies- I just noticed this is in the quail section. Please disregard. I don't know about quail.


    They will eat the oats and they are low in protein: 11% or so. (Chicks need 20% protein or so.)

    I feed oats but to older chickens, and I wouldn't use it as bedding since they may overconsume them.

    You also want to avoid straw, as they are little hollow tubes where mites can hide.

    I use pine shavings and place paper towels over them for the first 24-48 hours, sprinkling food onto the paper towel to teach them to eat the chick starter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

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