Why do chicks need bedding material?

katie a

In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 1, 2010
I have mine on a piece of newspaper in the bottom of the box. It sounds like I need to get some bedding for them?

They are about 2 weeks old and I've had them since yesterday.
Bedding lends warmth and poop absorption. On a piece of newspaper, they're walking in baby pewps that are sometimes pretty runny. It's just a more comfortable atmosphere for the kiddos.
The first time we got chicks I thought they'd be fine without bedding, just sweep it up once a day.
Took them out of their box, dipped their beaks, and released them in their new home. They immediately started pecking each other's toes HARD! So we gave them bedding (chopped hay). Chicks also love eating tiny bugs and seeds in the hay.

FYI, newspaper also causes splayed legs in newborn chicks...
Take the newspaper out quick... and replace it with paper towels. Newspaper is too slick for baby chicks and can cause splay legs. For absorbancy, add pine shavings under the paper towels. You'll need the shavings in your coop anyway, so get some a few weeks early!
X2, except they are plenty old enough for just the pine shavings. Paper towels are good the first few days, til they learn where and what is food. You really can't beat pine shavings for odor control, neatness, etc. unless you happen to have access to something free (rice hulls? Coffee refuse?)
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I usually start the newly hatched on many layers of paper towels over pine shavings, well aired out. Every day, I remove a layer or two of the paper towels until about one week, when they are surefooted.

Since yours are already two weeks, i would suggest getting some shavings, airing them out and putting them in on top of the newspaper. It does help with continued good footing and helping keep the brooder clean.

I don't use shavings in the coop, only the nest boxes. Shavings are too expensive! I scrape it clean every couple of days and into the compost it goes.

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