Wood bedding...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jayceekurek, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Jayceekurek

    Jayceekurek Out Of The Brooder

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    I brought my baby chicks home today, I really wanted them to be comfortable so I had pine bedding already in their brooder. Well of course an hour after I get home with them I read that they have a tendency to eat the pine bedding and it can kill them. I rushed downstairs and took all the pine out and replaced it with newspaper. You don't think that I have inadvertently killed any of them by having the bedding in there, even though it was only for an hour...

    This is my first time with chicks and I really just want to do everything right...
     
  2. Britalican

    Britalican New Egg

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    I am new to this as well and did a lot of reading on many sites before I brought mine home today. A lot of people on here seam to use pine chips right away, or just cover the shavings with newspaper on top at first. I have read in a lot of books though that newspaper is very bad and can cause splayed legs because it is slippery. I have a bunch of crumpled up paper towels as bedding in mine as it is grippy for them and can easily be removed and replaced as they poop on it. so far they seem to be happy with this set up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  3. fluffpuffgerbil

    fluffpuffgerbil Chillin' With My Peeps

    I got my first chicks a few weeks ago and had them on pine shavings from the start. They're all fine and I've read other people had them on them from the start without issue
     
  4. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    What kind of bedding did the store have them on? Do you know how old they are?

    If the store has had them a few days and they were on shavings, then it should be fine to put them on straight shavings. If they are just a day or two old, then put down shavings and put paper towels over them for 2 or 3 days. It will help teach them not to eat the shavings and you can monitor their poop for the first few days.

    My chicks were 4 to 11 days old when I got them and had already been on shavings. I just put them on straight shavings. I did get the large chips. My feed store sells both large or small chips. Large chips makes it harder for them to eat. They do pick at it, but I haven't seen any eat some yet.
     
  5. Jayceekurek

    Jayceekurek Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    The shavings I had them on were fairly small, I have been reading and studying for over a month, I have no idea how I missed that and only happened to come across that they would die eating wood chips last night. I had everything set up before going to pick them up. I'm not sure maybe I just got over worried. I will probably go put the shavings back with paper towels on the top just to be on the safe side.
     
  6. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same question last week (3 week old chicks) and another member suggested making sure they have grit so if they do ingest some of the shavings it won't cause a blockage.

    First couple of days I had aspen shavings at the bottom of the brooder, they are incredibly poopy little things so I changed to paper towels over the brooder floor and gave them a little box full of aspen to nest in for naps. I find it much easier to roll up the paper towels and toss them a couple of times a day rather than try to clean out and dump a bunch of wood shavings. Since most all of the shavings are now in the box or next to it they don't pick at them much anymore either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  7. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are so cute!

    For now, just put some paper towels down over the shavings. Just pull out the paper towels and put in new every day or twice a day, depending on how dirty it gets. Be a good idea for a couple days anyway so you can watch their poop. If you can, get some larger shavings to put down for when you pull up the towels.



    Here is a pic of my chicks on the larger shavings. Sorry for the large pic. I just wanted to make sure you could see the size difference in the shavings. I got mine at a local feed store. They have both sizes. I don't know if Tractor Supply carries both or not. Also, be sure and don't get cedar shavings. The smell from the cedar could cause them to have respiratory problems.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Relax, they are fine. You did not kill them.

    There is often a big difference in what can possibly happen and what absolutely will happen each and every time. A piece of space junk can fall out of the sky and demolish your house today, but it’s not real likely. But it can happen. I suggest you don’t obsess over that possibility.

    Chicks will peck at anything. It’s a lot like a baby putting everything in its mouth. It’s how they learn. They will eat some of the wood shavings. If a broody hen had them out foraging she’s have them eat bits and pieces of anything on the ground, including bits of wood, plant matter, dirt, and tiny rocks.

    It is possible they can eat enough of the wood shavings and big enough pieces that they can cause damage to themselves, either an impacted crop or impacted gizzard. Adult chickens can do that eating long strands of grass or things like that. The stuff gets tangled and twisted up so it blocks the exit of the crop or gizzard. It happens, I won’t say it is impossible. Adult chickens are a lot more likely to do that with long strands of vegetation than baby chicks on wood shavings but it still doesn’t happen that often with adults. What normally happens is that the stuff passes on through their system and comes out the back end, partially digested.

    I like to give my chicks grit pretty early on, like by day 2 or 3 in the brooder. It won’t help the crop, but it gives them a way to grind that stuff up in the gizzard so you tremendously reduce the risk of an impacted gizzard. You can normally buy chick grit at the feed store (make sure it is small enough for chicks) or you can just use a coarse sand like construction sand.

    A whole lot of people raise chicks on wood shavings and never have a problem with this even if they don’t use paper towels. Look at how the feed stores house their chicks. They normally use wood shavings without paper towels or anything else. There are risks in everything you do. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone came up with a possible scenario where paper towels could hurt them. I still consider spreading paper towels over the shavings for a few days to be a reasonable precaution that doesn’t cost much and takes very little effort, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

    It’s possible that a chick could slip on dry newspaper and hurt its leg. It’s possible you could hurt your leg the next time you go out in snow or, even worse, ice. Dad raised chicks on newspaper and never had one that hurt its leg. It’s not an absolute guarantee that one will if you use newspaper, but it is certainly possible. Again, I consider paper towels instead of newspaper a reasonable precaution.
     
  9. MargoTexas

    MargoTexas New Egg

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    Feb 27, 2014
    12 Ducks 20 chicks 2 ros.


    I use Paper towels down for chickens and duck then I put a cushy shelf line so they can slip or eat the paper towel. It works good, I avoid using wood chips they were too messy. It cost about the same I will go to wooden chip after they are a month old.

    My ducks I got are MagPies Black and white great personalities and love to be petted, I also got 3 black India and white runners, Pekings and a few crested -Kahkis. all together 12 ducks love to be petted and crave attention..

    For my other Flock I Have Bown Leg Horns, Buck Eyes, Black Jersey, Buff Orrington, Anacondas, Plymouth rock, New Hampshire Reds, white leg horns,

    Can my younger chicks enter the chicken yard with older chicks or am I better off keeping them with the ducks? also what age can my ducks and chicks go outside with me watching the weather is been humid and in the 80,s then some rain, I was hoping that net tie its nice et them out?
     
  10. aropp87

    aropp87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2014
    Jumping in on this, would I lay the paper towels on top of the shavings, am I reading that right? I was looking at their bedding today when I changed it, we having 20 brooding and I would be changing bedding 2x a day to stay ontop of it!
     

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