BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Feeding & Watering Your Flock › Getting young birds interested in treats
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Getting young birds interested in treats

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have six birds about four weeks old, two Araucanas, two Buff Orpingtons, and two New Hampshire Reds. In the last four days I've started trying to give each bird one or two mealworms a day. Three of the birds go batty for them, running over each other to get to the mealworm I'm holding, yet the other three are completely indifferent. I even tried holding a mealworm in front of one of the birds which pecked at it but didn't eat it. Are they an acquired taste? Will the three that don't go for the mealworms eventually like them? I'm unwilling to demonstrate how good they are.

post #2 of 4

Hello and welcome to BYC!

 

Generally all young birds and chicks are leery of new foods. It's a protective mechanism built into their brains so they don't eat anything poisonous and die. So if they eat what they know didn't kill them yesterday, they will survive today.

 

However usually once one eats the treat, the others will eventually follow. And I do suspect these 2 birds that are not indulging will eventually join in. Pretty soon they will eat anything that drops from your hands and ask questions later! Ha!

 

But all this being said, there could be a couple of things going on here....it is possible these three are shy and at the bottom of the pecking order. They are too nervous to join in. So I might suggest separating them at treats time and see if they won't eat them when they are alone? Sometimes this is all they need to relax and enjoy a good meal worm treat. Make sure when you do feed the flock meal worms you have a big enough space that these two feel comfortable in joining in. If they feel cramped in, they might be too nervous to eat with the flock. (same goes with feeders and waterers...make sure to have several feeding and watering stations so nobody is bullied and you have enough space for the amount of birds you keep)

 

These three could also not feel well and food is not all that interesting. Usually the treats are the last thing they will turn up their beaks at, their chicken feed is the first thing ignored when sick, so keep an eye on them that they ARE eating and drinking properly, are just as active as the others. If so, I would say they need more time to adjust to new foods and their flock mates. All treats take time for young birds to get used to. Keep feeding them new things and eventually they will eat pretty much everything. 

 

Good luck with your new babies and welcome to our flock! :-)

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. ~Emily Dickinson~

 

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~John Bunyan~

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop                                    Raising Quail

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

 

Leg, Foot and Toe Issues in Poultry of All Ages

Reply

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. ~Emily Dickinson~

 

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~John Bunyan~

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop                                    Raising Quail

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

 

Leg, Foot and Toe Issues in Poultry of All Ages

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response. It looks like the three birds are doing fine, eating and drinking with reckless abandon. So I can rule out sickness or injury. I think they're just not interested yet. This is fine because my mealworm farm is just starting out and I got a little impatient. It would be best if I let the farm stocks rise a bit before I started trying the treats again.

 

Thanks again for the help.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBryant890 View Post
 

Thanks for the response. It looks like the three birds are doing fine, eating and drinking with reckless abandon. So I can rule out sickness or injury. I think they're just not interested yet. This is fine because my mealworm farm is just starting out and I got a little impatient. It would be best if I let the farm stocks rise a bit before I started trying the treats again.

 

Thanks again for the help.

I am sure it's just a "new food" thing. It can take young birds a while to feel safe around food. As they age, they eat pretty much anything, edible or not! LOL

 

Enjoy your babies! :-)

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. ~Emily Dickinson~

 

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~John Bunyan~

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop                                    Raising Quail

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

 

Leg, Foot and Toe Issues in Poultry of All Ages

Reply

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. ~Emily Dickinson~

 

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~John Bunyan~

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop                                    Raising Quail

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

 

Leg, Foot and Toe Issues in Poultry of All Ages

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Feeding & Watering Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Feeding & Watering Your Flock › Getting young birds interested in treats