Wire Bottom vs. Shavings

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mahlzeit, May 8, 2009.

  1. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Hi there. I was just wondering what everyone on here prefers for their chicks. I just recently built this new brooder with a wire bottom and a droppings tray and love it. They used to constantly kick shavings in their food and water and it was a pain. Now there is no mess and I don't have to worry about them not getting water because of all the shavings in it. They seem to be happy as ever in it too. It also keeps the dust down which is wonderful.



  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I did something similar, but used j-clips and basically built a rabbit hutch. No wood at all. It is sitting on a wooden frame. Your door is definitely better than mine.

    According to one of the University websites (I can't remember which one), chicks raised on wire do not build up an immunity to cocci. They need to ingest a small amount of their poop that has seasoned a day or two so they can build up an immunity to whatever cocci is present in any of the chicks. The protazoa needs to develop a day or so after it is expelled from their system so it can become active when they re-ingest it.

    You may be aware of all this so please bear with me. There are six or seven different types of protazoa that cause cocci in chickens. Developing an immunity to one does not give immunity against any of the others. Cocci can be a serious illness in chickens, even kill them. However, it takes a concentration to cause a problem. They can handle a small amount, although some protazoa are stronger than others. The protazoa can get concentrated in wet poop in the brooder or coop or run. If you keep your brooder dry, unless you get a really nasty strain, your chicks are unlikely to get sick from cocci. If they don't build up immunity, they can become very ill or die when they get to the coop.

    What I'd suggest is having something that will hold a little of their poop and keep it dry, maybe a small tray with shavings. I use a piece of old window screening. You still have to clean it when it gets damp, but it is only a small area and you get most of the advantage of that droppings board and you can keep their water on the other side.
  3. Lov'emSouthernEggs

    Lov'emSouthernEggs Songster

    May 2, 2009
    East Carolina
    That is a great brooder! [​IMG]

    We are using the mesh idea for the stage 2 brooder. I read the same about the poo and that keeping them on shavings with paper is best for the first two weeks. I also read that the mesh can mess with their legs and how they walk. Again recomending waiting two weeks or so before putting them on mesh. [​IMG]

    Though, what I have learned about chickens is there is no real answer to anything...[​IMG]
  4. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    thats a very nice brooder. I would rather keep chicks on the shavings.
    but if you think they are happy, thats what matters most. They really enjoy scratching around on the floor/ground, so i just put feed and water up higher.
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Thanks for your responses. The chicks that are in there now were started on shavings. I have a bunch of chicks coming on the 21st and I had planned to put paper towel down for the first week or 2 anyway. So I will be sure I do that on half the pen leaving the food and water on the other half. Thanks again.[​IMG]

  6. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    I was wondering about their footing? is it tough to be walking on wire all day? I just think about when I was a little kid and my mom would put me in the back of the shopping cart at the market without shoes on...hurts! [​IMG]
  7. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Songster

    May 5, 2009
    LOVE your brooder! [​IMG] I need to have my hubby build me one of those!

    As for the shavings..paper towel...I would still start them off that way before letting them enjoy the upscale brooder... [​IMG]

    But regardless, you have HAPPY CHICKS![​IMG]
  8. aberfitch

    aberfitch Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    so nice and fancy!
  9. Jessika

    Jessika Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Eagle Creek, OR
    That is way awesome! Good job. They look so happy. [​IMG]

  10. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Quote:I thought about that before I made it but then I realized that they are walking on barefeet from day one. We for the most part 90% of the time have something on our feet. Just think of walking on driveway rocks it hurts our feet but dogs and chickens can walk on it no problem. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by