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Chicks and crickets, did I make a mistake?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I got my chicks the day they arrived at the local feed store and Wednesday made one week they've been with me. I assume they were mailed at one day old and so they arrived probably three days old? I am not sure how that works, but that gives you an idea of how old they are. I purchased them chick grit a few days ago because I was excited to give them a little snack of leafy greens. I know they need 99% of their diet to be their chick starter, and trust me, THEY LOVE the stuff! lol. They didn't care for leafy greens at all actually. They ate some of the grit (it seemed a good bit, but I am not sure how much is enough) and then they just left it alone so I picked it up from their brooder for fear of them possibly over eating it (paranoid? Maybe!)

 

Well, DH went fishing with some fresh crickets and the crickets have been on our porch now for a few days and are starting to die off so we've been talking about needing to give the chicks one just to see what they'd do. I wasn't sure if the chicks needed more grit or not, but I did put some more in their brooder. They pecked at it a bit and then left it be (still seems like a lot was used this time for five little chicks, but they may have kicked some out too, I'm not sure.) if this stuff is "insoluble" should I leave it down all the time or only offer it every so often?  I don't think I'd worry about adults, but for some reason as chicks I worry they don't "know" when enough is enough! Actually, I don't even know what is enough lol.

 

Anyway, we gave them the cricket. Well, one chick got it and they all began a wild chase, they had a blast. TBH, I did too lol. Long story short, we have 5 chicks and about 4 crickets ended up in the brooder (it helped all the fighting over who got what) They loved them, ate them up, and had fun, but I began to worry... Are they too young for crickets?? Have they had too much grit? Should I be watching for symptoms to make sure they're ok? Choking hazards?  lol Maybe I'm a paranoid chick mom, but has anyone else given live bait to chicks this young? And does anyone know what a normal amount of grit is for this age?

post #2 of 9
Relax, doesn't matter how old they are day 1 onward they can eat pretty much anything as long as they have grit, it's what they would be doing in the wild as chick starter isn't available in wild... Crickets are fine and they won't 'overeat' the grit they are just curious and taste everything, any excess will simply be passed...

As for the grit being soluble or insoluble you have to see what it's made of...
post #3 of 9
We have our chicks worms within the first day we had them. They also got a beetle that I found.

They always seem nervous or even afraid, then one chick tries it and they all join it. If you keep feeding them bugs just supply some grit after the bugs and let them get their fill.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, that makes me feel a bit better lol. Thanks. It was awfully fun watching them with the cricket. They took it and threw it against the ground, like they were big hens after a mouse lol!

post #5 of 9
Oh yeah. Mine actually ran away from the worms at first. Since there is no mama, they have to figure it out on their own.

We actually just switched to a nipple water system (would recommend) and my lady was so afraid they wouldn't get enough to drink. Sure enough 30 seconds after I shut the door I hear a rampage of them drinking from the metal nipple lol
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauleberly View Post

Oh yeah. Mine actually ran away from the worms at first. Since there is no mama, they have to figure it out on their own.

We actually just switched to a nipple water system (would recommend) and my lady was so afraid they wouldn't get enough to drink. Sure enough 30 seconds after I shut the door I hear a rampage of them drinking from the metal nipple lol

That fear is what has kept me from getting a nipple waterer! lol.

Luckily our barred rock (who is 1/2 the size of everyone else, but guess that is a question for another post) is so feisty and curious, she didn't need even a second to think about it lol. I am not sure if she really knew it was edible or not before it was devoured!

There was one that was still a bit scared even after the others dug in, but I am sure she will come around.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tine434 View Post

That fear is what has kept me from getting a nipple waterer! lol.

Luckily our barred rock (who is 1/2 the size of everyone else, but guess that is a question for another post) is so feisty and curious, she didn't need even a second to think about it lol. I am not sure if she really knew it was edible or not before it was devoured!

There was one that was still a bit scared even after the others dug in, but I am sure she will come around.

I would get a water nipple. They are so curious, just show them what it does. It helps so much on spilt water on bedding. We went from 2 gallons of water a day down to less than 1 every two days. I never realized how much they spill lol!
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm quickly realizing how much food they spill tho... Lol
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tine434 View Post

I'm quickly realizing how much food they spill tho... Lol

Once they are outside, you can build a pvc feeder that fixes that problem. I just hung their food and they are probably making 50% less mess.

Also look into chicken fodder. It's a great way to reduce feed cost and provide some very high quality feed for cheap
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