Tractor Supply Pine Shavings

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChirpyChick, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. ChirpyChick

    ChirpyChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
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    Good Morning Everyone!

    I've been stalking BYC for the past year or so and have finally joined. We also JUST got 10 little fuzzy wonders March 28 (4 - 3 week old Buff Orps, 3 - 1 week old Speckled Sussex, 3 - 1 week old Welsummers). I've used BYC for just about everything from decided on what type of indoor and outdoor brooder I want, to which breeds I was looking for, where to buy the best chicken nipple waterers and how to build the best coop to feather sexing my little darlings (I am 80% sure that I only have 2 roos...but only time will tell that!)...the list goes on and on. So thank you BYC Members for making me feel confident in my first go at this. You are all amazing!

    However, my question today I haven't found an answer for and I hope someone can help me.

    My little fluffy butts are headed to the outdoor brooder soon and I will be purchasing a bale of pine shavings to add to the bedding mix. However, the only place I can purchase bales in my area (without needing to buy in bulk - what would I do with 100 pine bales?!? and how would I afford that?!) is Tractor Supply. They offer pine (along with of course - cedar, aspen and pine pellets) shavings in large bales in two types - flake and fine.

    My question is - which one is better for the chicks? My gut tells me flake would be better, but I was looking for first hand experience with it. How dusty is it? Is it a mix of flakes and fine bits or is it almost all flakes? Is it a good deal or should I wait for it to go on sale before buying a big bale?

    Thank you again to (IMO) the best flock on the net!

    ~jr
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The flake kind is what most recommend for chicks because they try to eat it at first. It is harder to deal with though, so after my chicks grew up a bit, I preferred using the finer kind. They do taste it even after turning a year old especially when new shavings are added. The finer kind is just easier to use, but flake is probably better.
     
  3. ChirpyChick

    ChirpyChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    near Hudson, New York
    Wow I didn't expect a reply that fast!

    I haven't had a problem with them eating the pine bedding they have now. Though I do have one chick (Lucy) that will pick up a longer piece and then play keep away with it, egging the other chicks into the game. It ends quickly when someone else grabs the bedding from her and finds out it's not food. I swear I see disappointment on their face and the satisfaction on Lucy's like "prank well played"...she's fiesty lol

    So do you still think that they'd try and eat it even if they don't eat their current bedding?

    ~jr
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    They're going to sample it no matter whether it's fine or flake. As with Egg., even my adults still sample a little, especially when it's fresh. I buy whatever's on sale or cheapest and they've always done fine with whatever I've used, from 2 days old through adulthood...
    PS I have a Lucy, and she's a little firecracker too [​IMG]
     
  5. lonewolf308

    lonewolf308 New Egg

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    My chicks have had TS small pine shavings since they were days old. They pick at it but I haven't had any problems from them at all. It's a whole lot cheaper than hay here.
     
  6. 2manychix

    2manychix New Egg

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    Apr 10, 2012
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    I live in washington and we have small pine shavings that I love as they are fluffy like the babies. My parents just moved up from cali and brought a bag of TS pine shavings so I know what you are talking about! I personally have had good luck with them, I bought a mix bag that contained cedar once by accident and was not happy as the pieces were too big. The only thing I would be careful of with the TS pine shavings is not to spread too deep as when you first put them in the pen the babies have a harder time walking but once they squish them down a little they are better. and they do/will sample all shavings you use.
    Best of luck
     
  7. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always use the fine for brooders and flake for the coop. Fine is nicer for the babies and flake is easier to clean up in the coops...try both and see which you like the best :)
     
  8. ChirpyChick

    ChirpyChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    near Hudson, New York
    wow thanks for all the great advice! It's great to know that I can't really screw this up! (though as with everything I do...there is always that distinct possibility..*sigh*)

    I will be making my run tonight to pick up a bale of the fine stuff...though i won't be needing it for a bit it will be nice to have on hand.

    I've actually found something that Lucy likes more than tricking her flock....leftover peas from dinner yesterday! Oh my goodness she was in chicky heaven! Along with the rest of them :)

    ~jr
     
  9. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How did the fine shavings work out for you?
    I use the flake myself because it's less messy, but I'd be interested to know how the fine shavings worked for you.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ChirpyChick

    ChirpyChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    near Hudson, New York
    The fine shavings worked well actually...dusty, but fine. I actually moved the chicks to the outside brooder a few days after the original posting (MUCH happier everybody at our house now lol!)
    I did spray the shavings down when I added them to try to mitigate dust but it was still more than I was happy with. I also did not put shavings all over my brooder, only the half under the heat lamp. So they could go dig and do dirt-y chicky type things away from the lamp. Truthfully I feel like I used way more than I needed just because it didn't look like the fine shavings were covering enough. I went through almost a whole bale in just under 2 weeks! I am doing a DLM type of outdoor brooder and it just seemed like they turned it all so very fast that I just kept adding more.

    Nobody ate it, though my Lucy decided it wasn't nearly as much fun to play with as the flake stuff...such the pity LOL

    As an interesting note on cost though -
    the TSC brand flake pine shavings are approximately $5/bale for an 8 cu. ft. per bale...(depending on sales and what not) which breaks down to about $0.63 per cubic foot of shavings
    the TSC brand of fine pine shavings are again approximately $5/bale for 5.5 cu. ft. per bale...that breaks down about $1.10 per cubic foot of shavings - nearly twice the price! AND on top of that I used it up way faster than I expected...

    So all in all I will be buying the more economical bale of flake shavings from now on!

    Thanks for everyone's help and I hoped that I was able to help others in return :)

    ~jr
     

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