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5 chicks- one seems a little nuts? new foods soon?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ashleymama42, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. ashleymama42

    ashleymama42 In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2008
    Queen Creek, AZ
    So I have 5 chicks- 3 ameraucanas and 2 barred rock...the smallest of the bunch is an Ameraucana and the minute I put chick starter in the feeder she frantically pushes everyone else out of the way and scratches it ALL out if the feeder. why? is this normal? The others will eat it out of there no prob, but as soon as i refill she scratches it all out again! [​IMG]
    The cage is all clean and nice and she destroys the whole thing in a matter of minutes, not to mention I am going thru feed like crazy because she throws it all out and then it gets pooped on, so we start all over!
    My other question is they are about 4-5 weeks old now, can they eat something other than chick starter? what can i give them? what do i need to give them? if they are too young now when do i start different food?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    What kind of feeder do you have? I had the trough kind that came with lids you could close so they could only stick their little heads in the holes of the top to eat. If possible raise the feeder so that they have to reach just a bit to get their feed. Discourages scratching around in it.
    IMO, 4 to 5 weeks old is plenty old enough to start some treats. Try some chopped hard-boiled egg or some plain yogurt (really they love it and it's good for them!). You can start adding a new treat every couple of days or so, giving some time between additions to make sure it agrees with their system. Look at the very top of the feeding time category for Buff Hooligan's treat chart for other ideas.
    Keep two things in mind: They call them treats for a reason. They need the complete nutrition of their chick starter/grower for healthy growth, so treats should be in small amounts. The other thing is anything new you put in their brooder is more than likely going to scare them at first. They'll look at it and give you the little stink eye like you're trying to poison them. Just leave it in there with them for awhile. They'll overcome their fear and attack it like the little vultures they are.
    Oh! And don't forget when you start giving foods other than their chick starter (and yogurt) you need to offer them grit to help them digest it.
  3. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Songster

    Oct 6, 2008
    I figure you have about 2 whole options, either get the trough with the sliding lid as Gritsar suggested or rehome the chick.

    My smallest is a Barnevelder with the same aggitating habit. Lucky for her she is my favorite of the 7 babies. She also is the total pig of the flock and can never seem to get filled up, to the point that everybody else will walk out of the barn and go free range and you hear her chipping to them like "Where ya'll goin? Gulp gulp Gulp, I'm not exactly full yet gulp, yummm, Hey, can't you wait, Mmmm gulp, Hey guys! Gulp!" I'm surprised her beak isn't worn flat from the constant pecking! Sometimes her little gizzard or stomach thing is so full it looks like it will burst!

    The slider tray feeder really is worth the money and since you are addicted, you may as well just buy it.

    BTW, I heard they stay on chick starter until they switch to the layer feed, so until about 4 or 5 months of age?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It depends on where you live. I've noticed that alot of peeps here on BYC can only find chick starter/grower, which you would feed until 18-20 weeks or when you get your first egg. Around here they sell both the chick starter/grower and seperate starter and grower. In which case you'd feed the starter until 6 to 8 weeks, then switch to grower and feed that until time to start the layer feed.

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