shredded paper instead of pine for shavings??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by blue90292, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    my work has one of those special shredders that shreds paper into tiny pieces. i use it as packing filler when i ship eggs. i love recycling.

    so i was thinking.

    do you think it would be harmful to use that shredded paper in place of pine shavings? it's not shredded newspaper but documents that have been shredded. i thought i'd start out using it in my nest boxes. this would be a great way of saving trees and if the shredded paper gets nasty, to the compost bin it will go.

    i was also thinking about using it in the plastic brooder for the baby chicks. sometimes they eat the shavings but after a while they understand food is better than shavings. and i don't put them in shavings until they're over a week old. what do you think?? could i replace the shavings with shredded paper? my only concern is that it's not the stringy shredded paper but shredded almost as small as hanging chads.

    i mean, it's incredible the amount of paper that gets shredded in this office and i would be so happy to be able to recycle and not have to pay for shavings.

    any thoughts??
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I have never used paper in a brooder because you never know about the dye from the inks being toxic and new chicks pecking and eating anything that moves. Under a heat lamp I don't know how likely it is to catch fire either.

    I do know shredded paper in the bottom of nests boxes works really well. When it gets nasty you just pull the entire wad out and throw it in the compost.
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I have the same situation at my morning office. I offered a big bag of shredded paper to the man I got our coop from, and he refused, saying that the paper would turn into concrete after a few days of being pooped on. Maybe for nestboxes, like MissPrissy said...
  4. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Songster

    Nov 3, 2007
    I would not use them exclusively. It shoudln't hurt to mix a few in with the shavings to make them go a little further. I would still keep the percentage of shavings high. Paper has a way of matting up if thats all you use. They would be great to put in a catch pan under a rabbit pen. If you have a dropping pit under the roosts they can be thrown in there as well to give those droppings some carbon.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Shredded paper does not work well for horse bedding because as 1acrefarm says it sort of all schlumpfs together into a nasty kind of paper-mache when it gets damp and soiled. A mix might be worth trying, I dunno.

  6. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Songster

    Nov 3, 2007
    I put shredded paper in my nest box at times. I also put a small amount in my bedding less than five percent. You would be able to get away with more but I do not know the maximum magic number. My rabbit uses shredded paper for litter but it gets changed every couple days. Since dropping pits get cleaned regular it is not bad for them. Just figured I needed to clarify better than last post.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  7. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Quote:i think that would be the thing. if i'm able to use it even if it's 10%, that's 10% less trees i'm using. i was just afraid about the ink also. it's just that, if i could change out the litter every couple of days in the brooders, i'd be very very happy so i was thinking the shredded paper would be a great idea. right now, i change out the litter once a week, and even though, i put it in the compost pile, it still makes me sad.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I tried shreded paper in a hamster cage once... it did diddly squat as a good bedding... just got matted down where any liquid was. You can try it for yourself though and see if it works.
  9. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    When I was working, I used shredded paper for everything.
    DH didn't like it, but now that I don't have access to all I want anymore, he misses it. It sure cut down on bedding costs.

    It does get a little slick when wet, so it needs to be fluffed up more often and added to more frequently. The amount of savings for us was worth a little extra fluffing. It gave me an excuse to spend time outside and not inside cleaning...LOL

  10. muddler6

    muddler6 Songster

    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    I use shredded newspaper in my nest boxes and change it out about every week or so (since it is basically free) and when I take it out of the nests it goes right out onto the floor of the coop with the pine shavings. Anymore the chance of toxic dyes being used is next to zero. They use a biodegradable/vegetable dye now. If you want to play it safe avoid too much colored dye and stick to the black and white pages. And don't use any of the glossy ads that may be with the paper. A friend of mine uses shredded documents in his Cornish X coop and in time the compost down just fine too. My concern is that I don't know enough about what is in "toner" to know if it is safe to put in the compost and then into the garden. When I get an answer on that I will be sure to share. But shredded newspaper is just fine.

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