Originally Posted by FlyWheel
I tried mealworms too. Those at least they ate, but it wasn't exact;y a "Jaws style" feeding frenzy either. I would really like to find something they are crazy about, so I can use it to help them 'imprint' on me.
Originally Posted by GardenNut @FlyWheel
if it's any consolation, my 4 BO girls behave the same way at 2.5 weeks. They "roost" on top of MHP and have been for over a week. I think because my house is much warmer at 68 than if they were outside. They won't eat yogurt, fermented food, oatmeal, apple, or bread. Throw some dirt, chickweed, dandelion blossoms, etc. in there though, and they go nuts. Mealworms are a hit too. Then every night right before they go to bed, they have a loud chirping session. I think they want to see if I'll come check on them or bring treats. Who's training who, I wonder?! But they're thriving and happy!
Patience is your best friend in many things to do with chicks and chickens. Don’t expect instant gratification. If you want to tame your chicks, take a book and a chair down there, sit and read a chapter or two, then quietly leave. Don’t do anything directly with them to threaten or encourage. They will probably be sacred of you, the chair, and the book at first, but they will soon get used to you and the chair and book.
People like to think that every chicken instinctively loves certain treats, not true at all. Chickens hate change and are very nervous around anything different. Offer different treats and give them time to get used to them and investigate. It may take hours or days. Many people rave about how much their chickens like cabbage. When I toss some cabbage leaves from the garden in the run mine mostly run over to check it out then pretty much ignore it. They’d prefer something else. But if I leave it laying in there it eventually gets eaten. At least, most of the time.
One time I gathered a yogurt cup of corn ear worms when I was harvesting corn from the garden to can. I dumped those worms on a clear dirt spot around a group of 10 week olds that were free ranging. Those chicks eyed those worms carefully and started very cautiously moving toward them. A worm wiggled! Run away! Run away! But they didn’t run far. Soon the braver ones started cautiously moving back toward them. A worm wiggled! Run away! Run away! This repeated four or five times before a brave cockerel snatched a worm. That’s all it took, the entire pile of worms was gone in a few seconds. Chick TV can be better than anything on cable, satellite, or antenna.
The first time I ran my lawn mower near the run, the chicks freaked out. They ran inside the coop in a panic. But it didn’t take them long to discover that when I went by with that noisy monster small bits of green stuff was thrown into the run. After a few times, they were crowding the fence when they heard that lawn mower, waiting for their treats.
Just be patient. Offer them different treats and let them decide if they want them or not. Eventually they will, at least some of them.
A good trick is to use a certain container every time to bring the treats. It’s good if it makes a rattling noise when you shake it. Use a certain call, like “Here chicky chick” when you feed them the treats. It should not take long for them to come running when you make that call or rattle that container. That can be very useful to get them into the coop or run if you need to. But you will have to do this a few times before they learn.