Setting up the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Reinbeau, May 30, 2008.

  1. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground

    So I've got a big cardboard box upstairs with a vinyl liner in it. Do I put shavings in there with paper towels on top for the new little ones, or do I just use paper towels at first? When should shavings be used?
  2. I would use the grip type paper towels for the first two weeks or so. It's too hard for the babies to walk on the wood chips and the papertowels will prevent spraddle leg. When are you getting your chicks?
  3. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground

    Not til next Wednesday. I had a false alarm this week [​IMG] so I was kinda set up, now I've got time to make sure everything is right.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I had the same setup as yours (only with scrap plexiglas instead of vinyl). I put paper towels over about 2 compacted inches of shavings. They were not teensy sawdust- or pellet-like shavings, they were the big flat flaky kind. I changed the paper towels 2x/day (just rolled 'em up in long strips, folded the rolls to reduce spillage because boy was there a lot of kicked-out food on 'em, and put in bucket to take out to compost).

    As the chicks went about their lives, little bits of shavings gradually got kicked onto the paper towels but although they'd sometimes peck at them or carry a flake around in the beak for a short while, I never saw anything to suggest to me they were eating them. I gradually phased out the paper towels til they were gone at the end of the first week. I did put the feeders and the waterer up on scraps of plywood to reduce spillage mess and reduce the amount of shavings etc that got kicked into the food and water.

    Good luck, and looking forward to hearing about the chicks next week [​IMG],

  5. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Hey, thanks for the explanation about paper towels, equine chick. I had never heard of "spraddle leg" before - I was going to go strictly with wood chips from the start with my baby chicks in June, but maybe 'investing' in a roll or two of paper towels is a good idea.

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