Paper towels over shavings or not?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by joshso, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. joshso

    joshso Out Of The Brooder

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    I've read some posts and a local guy from the 4H says that the best thing for a brooder is to put pine shavings down and then place paper towels over them. Obviously this will make for an easier cleanup...is there a downside? I'm wondering why everyone isn't doing this if it's so good....
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    *I* don't do it - I just go straight to shavings. The reasoning behind their use is to prevent eating of shavings while providing better "grip" than using newspaper, etc (the latter can lead to injuries and issues). I've never had an issue with any of my chicks eating shavings so I don't see any point in adding another step to things that doesn't need to be done. The only real downside I can see is you are adding work and expense to the process.
     
  3. FlutterbyChicks

    FlutterbyChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do for the first day or so, because on the first day I lay the crumbles down right onto the paper towels, so they get an idea of what to eat. I got my chicks yesterday, and have already removed all but one area of paper towels, leaving just the shavings. They have picked up a few pieces of the shavings, but haven't eaten any that I've seen. I now have their food on a small lid, since they know what it is now. Tomorrow I'll put their food into a regular feeder and remove the rest of the paper towels. Works for me!
     
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried just using shavings with this last batch, but the chicks immediately started eating the shavings so I went back to paper towels. I just layer them on top of each other for a week then remove them all at once. It has the added benefit of letting you see the character of their droppings until they adjust to everything.
     
  5. joshso

    joshso Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone for the responses...so I'm guessing if my chicks aren't eating the shavings I don't need to do the paper towels. However, it does seem that using paper towels will make cleaning easier...am I incorrect in this? Or will their droppings drip through and cause more harm?
     
  6. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is nice not having to clean shavings out of your waterer 10x/day!
     
  7. FlutterbyChicks

    FlutterbyChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that was nice. I removed most of the paper towels and have started the annoying 12 times a day water changes.
     
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Never had an issue with the waterer add long as I keep it raised to chest high, pavers make it easy to keep raising it as they grow
     
  9. Cage10

    Cage10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Live Oak, Florida

    X2
     
  10. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've done it all. I've done shavings, newspaper, paper towels, sand, and straw. From experience, we prefer going straight to shavings. We see the chicks pick at the shavings, but they don't actually eat any of it - just peck at it, see that it's not edible, and leave it.

    As for shavings in their water and food, easily solved. Nipple waterer and bucket feeder. Check out:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1063807/watering-with-horizontal-nipples


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1019230/chick-feeders-no-waste
     

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