Pine Shavings and Chicks?????

Fluffy-Butt-Farms

Songster
10 Years
Aug 4, 2009
588
1
139
Central Florida
ok, i was told that cedar is bad...use pine shavings in my brooder......

well.....

now i'm told that pine shavings are bad, use aspen? (dont even know what that is)

if pine shavings are bad, then what do i use in 4 brooders with 15 chicks each that is easy to use and cheap enough?
 

golden comets

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
48
0
32
I used paper towels for a few days then went to pine shavings and my chicks are 5 months old now and alive.
 

featherbaby

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,587
38
161
Jacksonville, FL 32210
All the books I've read and my chicken mentors all use pine shavings with good results. I waited until mine were about 4 weeks old before I put them on shavings.
Until then I had them on paper towels. Later I put shavings in the rubbermaid tote and paper towels on top of them. Then they graduated to straight shavings.
 

Fluffy-Butt-Farms

Songster
10 Years
Aug 4, 2009
588
1
139
Central Florida
i have had over 20 day old chicks on pine from day 1 and never had a problem. then last night 2 died. one that is 2 weeks old, and one that is one week old, which started me 2nd guessing myself, so i posted on here...and then got told that pine is toxic.

just thought if it was that bad, then wouldn't they all have been dying or dead by now? paper towels are just so expensive for 4 brooders.....do you think a regular towel that you can throw in the wash would be just as ok as paper towels?
 

ibpboo

Where Chickens Ride Horses
12 Years
Jul 9, 2007
5,601
10
279
always changing
Yes, washable towels will work. So will any of those old clothes that you no longer have room for in your closet!!
 

crazyhen

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
3,196
96
264
mtns of ,NC.
I have used pine shavings alot. I did find that I had to have good air circulation above the brooder and the sides open to just above their heads. The smell of the pine was so strong it made me sneeze after afew moments in the brooder. They were shaking their heads as if something was irritating them too. I found that after good air circulation was maintained they did fine. I tried the aspen it was just as bad but priceyer. I use puppy pee pads for the first three weeks then switch over to pine. They work great .
I will be building me a brooder this spring and will put plywood up to one foot and above that will be 1/2 inch hardware cloth. I will have a top that can be removed if needed for extra circulation as well. I think we can forget how strong anything can be in a partially closed enviroment.. Gloria Jean
 

Imp

All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle
11 Years
Sep 7, 2008
14,453
171
318
The Emerald City
My Coop
I have never used pine, just shredded newspaper.
Several months ago someone posted that the pine they were using was so strong smelling that they got light headed just being near the brooder, and they blamed it on some neurological problems with the chicks. The symptoms cleared up almost immediately when they switched to aspen. I'm not saying pine is bad, but there are many different species of pine, different freshnesses, and different harvest times.

Imp- Just saying

Fluffy-Butt-Farms,
Sorry you lost 2 chicks. Hope the rest are OK.
 

Fluffy-Butt-Farms

Songster
10 Years
Aug 4, 2009
588
1
139
Central Florida
yea, this is horse shavings from f-r-m and it doesn't actually ahve a strong smell at all to me. and my brooders are in my closet, so you would think i would be able to smell it if it was too strong. i'm gonna change them over to towels that i can wash i think.

there's just so many different opinions. it gets so confusing.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
989
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Pine is fine, so is cedar if it is a VERY well ventilated area (unlike most brooders). The reason cedar is bad is because of the phenols in the chip vapor irritating the airways. Anything with a strong smell should be avoided as it can irritate air ways though.

If you stick your nose in the shavings, and it burns, let it air out for a few months, if it is just a mild pleasant smell, it will be fine for the chicks.

Many use towels for the first few days till the figure out what food is.

Don't need to stress out so much and they'll be fine.
 

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