i really don't know the answer to your question. but i'll tell you what i plan on doing.....i read this on somebody's post somewhere.....and that's to use that rubbery-stuff you can buy in a roll (the stuff u use to keep things from slipping around....u can buy it at wal-mart). i read that it's really easy to clean, and it gives the chicks a good foot-hold. and i also bet the chicks won't generate a crap-load of dust. also, can't make a mess with food and water. but i'm gonna lay down a layer of newspaper or paper towels 1st....then lay the rubbery stuff over that.
I was successful with the following under the floor of the brooder: 1 sheet plywood/cardboard to cover entire space taken up by the brooder(makes it easy to move the brooder around if necessary)/news paper covering the entire floor of the brooder extending outside of the walls( great for easy removal)/a covering of aspen shavings(keeps the paper dry).
When the shavings looked like they were getting dirty I doubled the shavings from 1" to 2", then the next time they looked dirty I lifted one side of the brooder and slid the newspaper and shavings out and put it all into compost pile. Next, slid new newspaper under the brooder walls keeping enough paper on outside of the wall to be able to grab it next time to remove it with the shavings also making sure the entire floor of the brooder was covered with paper and the paper extended out from under the walls of the brooder. I then added the 1" of aspen shavings and started the process over again. Sound long, but only takes a few minutes and the birds are clean and dry......
I raised the water up to where the chicks could just reach in and drink using blocks of wood; this keeps water clean. Feed was suspended up off the floor also.
This worked beautifully for 26 birds with no losses and with minimal time to take care of the birds. It is necessary to have daily water changes and food always available. Then I hardened them of and put the entire brooder setup inside my chicken tractor. Son built brooder and tractor so we could put the entire brooder in the tractor and put it outside when the time was right. That is about it.
Have fun with those little buggers. They are a lot of fun to watch.....
After they know where their food is they can be on the pine shavings. They'll enjoy snuggling down in it and taking baby dustbaths.
Newspaper should be avoided because it's too slick and said to contribute to spraddle leg.
I started my chicks on pine shavings.
Hi ! I am just in the thinking stage of getting a few baby chicks to raise. I have a chicken house that was built years ago. The floor is cement and the walls are wood. There are windows on all four sides. I need to insulate it and patch some holes before I can put those little babies down there. Since I know absolutely zilch about raising chickens, any and all hints and comments will greatly be appreciated. I have been reading about the DLM and using DE and using 3 to more inches of wood shavings on the floor and NOT having to clean out the pen completely but once a year. I LOVE that part. I am going to check around here to see if there is anyone who has baby chicks for sale since I only want a few. Most order places around here you have to order at least 25. My mother had chickens and ducks about 15 years ago but I can't ask her any advice. She is no longer with us. But I am getting excited about starting from scratch and raising some babies. I have the boxes for when they are old enough to lay and I have a water jar as well as the light bulb rigging for the babies. I think I have to redo the door for them to come in and out since it is on ground level and I worry about snakes. I welcome anyone who can help me. Thanks, Deb
Hi Deb and welcome to BYC!
All the information you need to get started is right here on BYC.
Two things I would suggest. First, I would suggest doing some reading in the Learning Center. Here's a link to get you started:
Mine go straight from the incubator to shavings..we have never had any problems.They use their beak like we do hands and pick it up but they much rather eat their food and don't actually eat the shavings.