Pine chips EVERYWHERE!?! Help!

bibliophile birds

10 Years
Oct 4, 2009
Great Smoky Mtns, Tennessee
I'm brooding my chicks on pine chips. Today is their first full day on pine chips alone and it's going everywhere!!

The things that worry me the most are that they are throwing it into their feed trough and waterers. I've unclogged the waterers 4 times today already. And I've cleaned chips out of their feed trough 2 times. I'm mostly afraid that they aren't getting enough access to feed and water. Any good tips?

They are also digging down to the cardboard. I added more depth when I cleaned the box earlier, but they've just dug deeper holes. Is this ok?
Lift the waterers up on to blocks of wood.

I only use paper towels for the first 4 to 5 weeks... a bit more expensive but so much easier to deal with.
I'm going to try pressed pellets next time too. When I used the shavings I ended up elevating the food and water. I used small litter boxes turned upside down, but bricks or something similar would work too. I still had to check it often, but it was much better. I've heard some people use rabbit water bottles too. I wasn't able to try that because my brooder is a 140 gallon stock tank.
I felt like elevating them was the right thing to do, but I hesitated because I was afraid they would topple over and crush one of the chicks! I'm sure I'm just being a nervous first-time chick mom.

Thanks for the advice!
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my newer ones make a big mess too. they like to bill out all theyre food and then scratch for it. they Love scratching in the shavings. so i just give them one cup of food a day. i split it into two feedings cuz they just spill it. i gave up with the chick feeders and waterers. i have a ceramic heavy rabbit water dish that i fill with water and i push all the shavings away from it. its not big enuf for them to drown. ive done this since 3wks. i have to refill the dish throughout the day, but it sure beats scraping out the waterers, and they poop in it less bc they dont stand IN it. ... oh i only have 5 banties in there tho, so its managable, and 1c of food is enuf. theres always a pound or two of food in the shavings when i clean the brooder every two or three days.

good luck! my older girls were SO much cleaner!
I have been running ragged as I switched them off paper towels just last week after having my fill of papertowel noshing. OM GOSH they are going to town in the brooder with the pine shavings. I literally clean out food container ,flooring and waterer every 2 hours or less I kid you not. Actually, since I received my Silkies 5 weeks ago I have been with them for maintainence ,observation ,feeding, socializing ,etc, EVERY 2 hours day and night. I know..lets not go there.! I do not know what the answer is but I do, like every new mom ,give a sigh of relief when they nap. I have created this monster myself and the shavings are not helping You are not alone!! BTW tried elevating food container to no avail!
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I don't know how old your chicks are, but I keep my chicks wire brooder in their coop with the waterers in it on the wire so it stays clean. I take the brooder out when I can raise the waterers up off the floor or I put a piece of wood panel, linoleum or cardboard under them. It helps.


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Thanks cmom!

At the moment, my 5 day old chicks are in a cardboard box in the sunroom. When they get a little bit bigger I'm planning to move them down to a bathroom we recently demolished in our basement. You're suggestions will work beautifully when we get them moved. (Our coop is still being finished up. We need to be able to move the whole thing every few weeks, so we're building the coop on an old hay trailer, which comes with it's own set of challenges. I'm just hoping we can get it finished before they take over the house!)

As for now, elevating the waterers and trough have helped but not solved the problem. It makes me feel better, at least, to know they can get water easier.

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