Switched to shavings and the chicks are eating them!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickie-is-obsessed, May 11, 2010.

  1. chickie-is-obsessed

    chickie-is-obsessed Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Belleville, Ontario
    My chicks are now 2 weeks old so I thought I'd start using shavings instead of paper towel. They poop so much and I work all day so I can't be there to keep laying new toweling. I found with the Silkies especially, they were getting poop balls on their feet. I had to wash them in the bathroom sink.....my daughter was not impressed [​IMG] Anyway, I spread some out in their brooder and the little buggers are eating them!!! I know some of them are just picking and playing, but a few of the Silkies are pretty serious about eating them. I tried distracting them with a plate of mashed boiled egg and it worked for everone...except for one determined Silkie! If they are only eating really teeny pieces will it hurt them? I covered the shavings up with more paper towel otherwise I won't sleep tonight worrying about it. [​IMG] Any advice out there?
     
  2. whytedragon

    whytedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Floresville, Texas
    I had the same problem. Others suggested putting paper towels down over the bedding, and they'll learn what to eat and what not to. It worked!
     
  3. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    As long as the shaving's aren't cedar I wouldn't worry too much.About the only time I start any chick or duckling out on anything other than shaving's are a splay leg chick which I havent gotten in forever or few day old duckling's.I found through internet that best for those is rubber shelf lining.The chick's will pick at the shaving's naturaly.I have left the rubber shelf lining in on ocassion with pine shavings on top.I would just roll the whole thing up shake the chips off and spray the liner off with water hose and let dry outside.I don't put newspaper because of the ink in them.
     
  4. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    My chicks pick at their shavings all the time. They even scratch around in them it is so funny to watch. The first day I had them on paper towels until I was sure they knew where their food was. I am sure they will be fine.
     
  5. cogorman

    cogorman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2010
    MidMissouri
    My 17 various chicks were on just pine shaving from the time they left the incubator and right away started eating then. I was too ignorant at the time and figured it was normal or they were part termite. All 17 are now almost 4 weeks old, they have stopped eating the shaving and seem to be fine. Maybe it was just luck. Now when I open their brooder/hen house at night, can't stop looking at them, a few winged bugs fly in attracted by the light I guess, and they snatch them up...so fast. Now I worry about it, so I've given them some grit.
     
  6. cogorman

    cogorman Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2010
    MidMissouri
    My 17 various chicks were on just pine shaving from the time they left the incubator and right away started eating then. I was too ignorant at the time and figured it was normal or they were part termite. All 17 are now almost 4 weeks old, they have stopped eating the shaving and seem to be fine. Maybe it was just luck. Now when I open their brooder/hen house at night, can't stop looking at them, a few winged bugs fly in attracted by the light I guess, and they snatch them up...so fast. Now I worry about it, so I've given them some grit.
     
  7. cogorman

    cogorman Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2010
    MidMissouri
    My 17 various chicks were on just pine shaving from the time they left the incubator and right away started eating then. I was too ignorant at the time and figured it was normal or they were part termite. All 17 are now almost 4 weeks old, they have stopped eating the shaving and seem to be fine. Maybe it was just luck. Now when I open their brooder/hen house at night, can't stop looking at them, a few winged bugs fly in attracted by the light I guess, and they snatch them up...so fast. Now I worry about it, so I've given them some grit.
     
  8. cogorman

    cogorman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2010
    MidMissouri
    Sorry boys and girls. Not sure how that last post showed up three times. I hope this one doesn't!!!
     
  9. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I asked about this a while back and most people on this board insist that shavings are fine. I know a lady who has raised chickens for 20-something years and she insists that chicks will eat the bedding and that some will die. I didn't want to risk it, even though people here on the board said it was silly. But my gut instinct is more important than popular opinion, and so I stick with paper towels. I just add a layer when it gets yucky, and then every few layers I take it out & start again. The best part is that the paper towels can be composted, and the chick poop is great for the compost, so I'm okay with paper towels. It also allows me to check out their poop easier to look for runny poop or anything unusual that might have otherwise gone unnoticed in wood shavings. Plus, wood shavings leave a lot of dust.
     
  10. chickie-is-obsessed

    chickie-is-obsessed Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Belleville, Ontario
    Thanks everyone! They are all fine this morning. They pulled back the paper towel in places and shavings are everywhere but they are still kicking [​IMG] I've got to stop being such a worrier.

    Love my chickies!! [​IMG]
     

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