Shavings In Brooder

Chook-A-Holic

Songster
10 Years
Oct 5, 2009
1,252
52
153
Central, N.C.
I've always put towels in the brooder for a good footing surface and easier cleanup. I've been reading about others who are using shavings in their brooders. My question is how old do you recommend the chicks be before switching over to the shavings? I just don't want problems with them ingesting the shavings. It sure would be nice not to have to change the towel twice a day, and the chicks may actually enjoy a dust bath. Thanks

Marty
 

DukeDawg528

Songster
10 Years
Feb 11, 2009
136
0
109
SouthEastern Kentucky
I put my day old chicks on shavings and I don't have any problems...
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Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
Quote:
I started mine on shavings, though I see a lot of people who wait 3-5 days so they won't eat the shavings while they're still figuring out what is food and what isn't.

I didn't have any problems with the chicks eating the shavings, but they did kick them into their water and feed containers. I ended up elevating the water and food, I still had to clean the shavings out of them a couple times a day, but it was better then a couple of times an hour.

ETA: I read a post the other day about using pine pellets instead of shavings and I think I'll try that next. Shouldn't get into the water and food as easily and I'm hoping it will keep the dust down too.
 
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~*Sweet Cheeks*~

Songster
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
1,708
11
179
Medford, Oregon
PELLETS PELLETS PELLETS!!!

I used shavings for my first set of 10 chicks back in Feb. Ok until they start scratching and really pooping.

For my 3 banties I used the pellets. LOVED them a lot BUT I only had 3.

Now that I have 26 fuzzy butts that turned 2 wks old yesterday, I am completely SOLD on the pellets.

I had them on the puppy pads for the first two days then took them off. They peck at the pellets but don't eat them.

Now that they are scratching, they keep the brooder nice and dry and clean. The pellets dry out the poo within minutes.

Did I mention I L-O-V-E the pellets???
 

~*Sweet Cheeks*~

Songster
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
1,708
11
179
Medford, Oregon
Feed Store sold as horse bedding. Google Horse Bedding Pellets for lots of info.

I used to use them in my horse stalls. I currently use them in the chicken coop layered with Stall Dry and aspin shavings.

I also use them in my holland lops litter box.
 
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Chicken Fruit

Songster
10 Years
Feb 25, 2009
1,507
12
173
Echo Homestead
UUUUGGGGHHH!! Dont use shavings! What a water-wicking, puddle making, stinky mess!

Use pellets. You can get small pellets made for birds, hamsters, and other small critter at TSC for about 5 bucks.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/cozy-n-fresh-trade-natural-pine-pellets-20-lb--2181014

The chicks dont eat them- if the do experiment with them they are passable and non-toxic. No cedar or aromatic firs, and they last FOREVER.

When I brood chicks I put tissue paper over them for the first two days- until they have their footing. It kinda breaks apart anyway in that much time. They outgrow my small brooder at about 2 weeks, and I stuff them in a carboard box brooder- and until theyre 6 weeks old I do NOT have to change bedding. At which point they go in the coop and I throw everything away.

Shavings are just such a mess, they wick the water out of the waterer, the chicks dust themselves in them and throw them everywhere, and they STINK when they absorb things. These pellets never stink, they always remain dry, and they dont wick the water out of the waterer.

Just dont bother with shavings. I learned that pretty darn quick! lol.

I think the horse pellets are awesome in the coop, but not so much in the brooder, because the chicks feet are so small and the horse pellets are quite large.
 
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Chicken Fruit

Songster
10 Years
Feb 25, 2009
1,507
12
173
Echo Homestead
Yes, horse bedding, and YES.

I just buy whatever TSC or my local farm supply has for bedding pellets. Theyre about 6-8 bucks for a 40 pound bag. I have a 5x8 coop and it takes about 4 bags to get a good first layer. Then i just toss down another bag as needed- the pellets turn to saw dust as they absorb manure and water, when I notice it is looking or smelling kinda rank i just toss down another layer. It never gets wet, well, never stays wet. Even when the bedding is 6+ inches deep after a few months. I only add another bag once every month or so. Maybe more frequently as we get closer to needing to clean it.

We only need to clean our coop out once ever 3-5 months, depending.

I will NEVER use anything else. we tried shavings once in the coop. It was a NIGHTMARE. blech.

We put the pellets in the nesting boxes too.
 
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