Friday, April 26, 2013

Seriously Shredded

Blue Bell and Her Chicks
 on Shredded Office Paper
A few weeks ago I had an absolutely fantastic revelation!  I was dropping my daughter off at school when I noticed bags and bags of shredded office paper.  What a clever way to get clean bedding in the nest boxes....  I cautiously took a bag and quickly squirreled it away in the backseat - afraid that at any moment someone would come running from the building to yell at me for taking their recyclables.

The first place I decided to try it out was in the brooder where a momma and her chicks were cushioned on nice, safe brome.  (At that point brome was $10 / bale so I was pretty selective about who got the good stuff.) The paper was clean and soft and the chicks could pick at it without me worrying about them choking.  I patted myself on the back for being so willing to improvise.

Over the next month I took a little more paper each week and by then people were beginning to notice.  I finally got to where I was rather cheekily asking passersby, "Wanna know what I'm gonna do with all this?"  Their responses ranged from amusement to getting my phone number for when they see an especially robust cache of shredded paper.  I got more bold with where I was using the paper and I got more generous with the amounts I would use at a time.

My Mixed Mallard Project
(notice the ducklings on the left :)

Inside the 6 week brooder
(Painted White Plume Project chick)
Shredded paper for the nest box and
 a couple inches thick on the floor