Why shavings over straw?


8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
We're using straw on top of brown paper in our bath tub, and I keep reading people lamenting over shavings in the food or water. This is only our second night with our chicks, but nothing has gotten into food nor water, the chicks scratch and peck around a bit but beeline to the food when they are actually hungry, and I never needed to put down paper towels for them to figure that out. The straw stays nice and warm and isn't dusty at all. It absorbs really well and on top of that the poop seems to just shift its way through to the bottom and out of the way of the chicks.

So.. why is it that pine shavings seem to have a wider appeal? Am I missing something?
Can it have mites if it's been frozen? It's been inside our doorless barn all winter. I'm thinking along the lines of how I always throw my outs, flours and grains in the freezer for a day or two before putting them in sealed containers in the cupboard.

Also, we don't have a hen in the bathtub with them, but mind telling me what impacted crop means?
I have a lot to learn...
I use straw for my dogs, bunnies, roosters,etc. Never had an issue with mites in 9 years.

I just recently started using it for my chicks. They don't even scratch in it and definitely aren't trying to eat it thank goodness.

I think the appeal for most people is that pine shavings come in a small bag, easier to transport. A bale of straw doesn't exactly just plop down on your car's front seat. Always make sure the straw isn't moldy of course.
I have no idea about frozen mites.
I wouldn't think the eggs survive that but I don't know.

Impacted crop means that the crop is filled but cannot empty.
the crop isn't on this pic but it is on the right side of the front part of the neck. When their crops are full it is like a golf ball is under the skin on the neck on the front right.
That's the main reason I use shavings. They are also easy to clean up when the babies kick them out of the brooder. I used straw with my goats for a while and like someone else said, things seemed like they stayed much more wet with the straw. I ended up using shavings in my goat house for that reason. Straw just didn't seem to be able to hold up with the amount of moisture that the animals created.

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