Types of Litter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by robisonfamily7, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. robisonfamily7

    robisonfamily7 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2012
    Houston, TX
    I have searched all over the internet and have come up with conflicting information on the type of litter to put in the bottom of my chicken house as bedding while I raise my chicks
    (who will be here on the 15th!!!!!)[​IMG]

    I have had people say that pine shaving dust can be poisonous to the chicks if they inhale it. And I definitely do not want to deal with newspaper shreds because my sister used to have guinea pigs, and the newspaper was disgusting even after 3 days of use. It balled up into nasty stinky.....oh gosh, bad memories.
    Anyway, will y'all give me some input? Are my suppositions unfounded?

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  2. hollyk

    hollyk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2008
    Canton, Texas
    I have raised many baby chicks over the past few years and pine shavings have been my favorite and I have not lost any chicks. Well, pine shavings were my favorite until the last set of chicks. Then, I tried all pine pellets- you can find it in the kitty litter section and the grocery store- no other chemicals are added, just mashed up pine. It worked awesome and kept the odor knocked out. Love it. You would be fine with the shavings and I agree, newspaper is nasty! Happy chick raising![​IMG]
  3. Glasshen

    Glasshen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2012
    La Fayette, NY
    There are lots of different ideas on what is best, and some is preference, and some depends on your set up. I remember finding lots of helpful info in the sections of this site dealing with raising baby chicks. There is also a search window that can pull up info for you.

    I read everything I could find and had to try some different things to see what worked for me. I used wood chips until they were flying all over the basement, our coop was not ready...I would have loved to use saw dust since we have so much of that, but there was danger that the chicks would mistake it for food. I use straw, but that is kind of course for tiny chicks, but when they are a bit bigger, it does stay on the floor, mostly. I have been dabbling with the idea of sand...and am interested in using sweet PDZ and poop boards in the coop. Many people like the idea of the deep litter method, but I like to remove the waste much more frequently...

    So there you have it, it is as clear as mud, and everyone has a favorite type of litter. I too wanted to make the best possible choices for my chicks, and still do, so I will probably continue to experiment and see what works best for us. I do have to remind myself that chickens have lived in many diverse situations for hundreds of years, and that if I do my best for them, my chickens will probably be ok too.

    Good luck with your chicks, they are great fun!
  4. BrianT

    BrianT Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    North FL
    I have used sand with no problems.
  5. crankster76

    crankster76 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    sand is my choice....
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    For thousands of years, perhaps 5000 years, the domesticated chicken has brooded chicks on dirt, sand, pine straw, hay, straw, or whatever else she could find or was provided for her. If the chicks were as fragile as we modern folks sometimes make them out to be, the bird would have gone the way of the Dodo.

    Fact is, don't use slippery newsprint (risk of splayed legs) but virtually anything else? They'll be just fine. Choose what suits you from among the many choices.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  7. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Perfectly explained Fred!
    I prefer Pine shavings over anything else. Ceder shaving can be dangerous to chickens do to the strong smell the shavings give. They can cause respiratory issues. I would not use Cedar for bedding.

  8. AnnieOK

    AnnieOK Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2011
    Southcentral Oklahoma
    On the pine shavings, which I'm going to begin using tomorrow, how deep do you make it? I have plenty and my babies are a week and 2 days old. Have had them on those absorbant bed pads so far.

    Also, how often then do I change it out?

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  9. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I use it sparingly just covering the bottom. Maybe like an inch or less. I just make sure the the wood on the bottom of my brooder is covered up and doesn't show. I check back a few hours after I place them in the brooder and after that I add more if needed.

  10. crystal195655

    crystal195655 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2011
    Glenoma, WA
    I did a ton of research before I got my chicks....I put the puppy piddle pads down for the first 2 days over the top of pine shavings. After the first 2 days I removed the pads and the chicks have done fine on the pine shavings. I have about 2-3 inches down and will add to it as needed. You will be amazed at how fast they grow...seems I go out there to look at them and refresh water & food....looks like they have grown just since overnight. I guess you just have to do what works best for you and it mayh be trial and error for a while, try several methods until you find what you like the best. For me it's a matter of simplicity...whatever makes my job easier and what keeps my girls healthy and happy

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