When would be a good time....

Blue_Myst

Songster
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
3,808
10
201
to introduce my chicks to the pine shavings? I currently have them on paper towels covering up the shavings below. They are now about five days old. I put them on shavings a little while today, but they would dig through it and pick through the smaller shavings. Is this what they should do, or is this a sign that they'd eat the shavings all day long? I want to keep the number of chicken backsides I have to wash at a minimum! (wishful thinking, I know
)

Thanks!
 

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
75
216
Olympia WA
At five days they should be fine. They know what their food looks like and where to get it, right? They will scratch through and occasionally eat a few shavings, but most they will spit out. That's what chickens like to do....
 

Gonzo the Great

Songster
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
165
2
121
Sugar Land, TX
I've never purchased shavings, but I am collecting some from my wood planer. Do these have to be large curls or some consistent size? Does anyone see any consistency from hatcheries or breeds that confuse their bedding as food? I think I will be getting some next week from a local feed store that buys from Ideal (it's down the street from us in Houston)
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
238
421
SW Arkansas
They should be fine on shavings now. They are going to pick things up in their beak to test it for edibility. They spit most of it out, no worries.
 

peony07

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
44
0
32
Ferndale WA
Mine have been on shavings since day one too. No pasty butts and they scratch all day. They are in a wood brooder and they love to scratch and peck at the knots in the wood (almost obsessively!) But no problems.
 

Blue_Myst

Songster
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
3,808
10
201
Thanks for all the replies!
My chicks are now on the shavings and seem to be having quite the party.

Do these have to be large curls or some consistent size?

The shavings I have seem to vary in size, so, I'd say not. Bigger is probably better, but don't take my word for it, I've still just barely made it 'out of the brooder', after all!
 

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