Paper towels over pine shavings?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rainwolfeh, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bit of a silly question, probably.
    Last year when I raised my chicks, I just used plain pine shavings in the brooder, but upon doing more reading I saw that you should be using paper towels over the shavings for the first few days to prevent them from eating them. We use large-chunk, not sawdust, which I was thinking would be more of an issue, but now I'm second guessing myself.

    What are everyone's opinions on this? Is it safe to just use pine shavings or should I put the paper towels over? Better safe than sorry?

    My chickies will be coming in sometime this week, just getting everything ready beforehand. :)
     
  2. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    I have done it both ways and personally never had an issue with anybody eating the shavings. They do play with the shavings though, so I could see it becoming a problem for some.

    Paper towels won't hurt for the first few days. I mainly only use them if the chicks are freshly hatched from the incubator. They sure do make clean up easier though!

    Just watch the heat source. Heat lamps always make me nervous. :confused:
     
  3. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do paper towels over puppy pads until I'm sure everyone has good poops and knows what/where the food is, then I switch to shavings. Yes, I do have some special chicks who eat shavings...sigh.
     
  4. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!! I think I will start out with just shavings but if it looks like they're too interested will put down paper towels. :) We are extra careful about the heat lamp, it has two clamps and is attached with two pieces of rope as well.

    I have one more question, if that's alright. I have 15 chicks coming in, (minimum order) going to be keeping 6-8 of those, most likely, and about half are bantams. Currently the brooder is just a 116 qt plastic tub set in our bathtub - will that be alright for them until we sell the extra or will it be too crowded? It seems so small, but it was the biggest tub I could find to start out, later on they'll be moving into a much larger water trough that we used to brood last year, but right now that isn't accessible because of cats having the run of the cottage where we brooded in last year.

    We have a bigger bathtub in my parents' room that, with some modifications would be great, but that is off limits unfortunately. :p

    (I'm paranoid about doing the best for them, absolutely terrified of messing something up, sorry if I sound ridiculous)
     
  5. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's going to be pretty tight quarters pretty quick for 15
     
  6. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I was worried about that. I read on a thread here that it would be alright but I'm quickly doubting that. We plan on getting them down to 6-8 within 10 days or so, but even then it's probably too small.
    I'm looking online to see what I could order that's larger and more permanent.
     
  7. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They double in size their first week. I was shocked at how quickly they outgrew the space I had prepared for them! I ended up using a tarp + taped together moving boxes for a 5x5x3' brooder to last the whole 6 weeks. I had 21 chicks.
     
  8. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I was shocked how quickly they grew last year! Also now a little overly paranoid/my anxiety is acting up because we can't fit anything larger in the bathroom at the moment, unless we literally brood using the tub. Our house has an open floorplan, and we have four dogs which means that there's nowhere really safe to brood except my parents' bedroom, which has already been confirmed as a 'no'. Which sucks, but what can you do.

    Last year we brooded in our cottage, which worked great, but this year we have two kittens in there we're slowly introducing to the outside as barn cats so it will be a little bit until we can move in there, probably two weeks or so. Then there will only be around six chicks left, if that, so it'll be nice then but I'll have to work with the smaller one in the meantime, I guess. Hopefully we can lower the numbers faster than anticipated so it's a bit more comfortable until they can move into their more permanent brooder.

    Or...do you think it'd be better to just use the bathtub?
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been using hardwood stove/furnace pellets for the chick brooders, much less dust and no worries about them eating them... Plus they don't toss them around as easily...
     
  10. turboscooby07

    turboscooby07 Out Of The Brooder

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    I use straw. Cheap plain straw. I haven't seen them eating any of it. They do peck and scratch at it at first but stop once they realize chick food tastes better. The do get it in their waterers but its easy to remove. Once they get bigger I use prairie hay beacause 1500lbs of it costs me 25 dollars and my other critters eat it in the winter
     

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