5 wk chicks will only eat starter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Bstruss, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Bstruss

    Bstruss Just Hatched

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    Mar 13, 2017
    We bought our 8 chick hens at the feed store several days ago and have been feeding them crumbled medicated chick starter. I am wanting to introduce some different foods as I intend for them to eventually partialfree range. I have tried to put small pieces of chopped greens, mulberries, banana etc into the cage but even if I remove the crumble for an hour or so, they only seem to peck at the alternative foods but really not interested in it.

    At almost 5 weeks they seem very healthy and happy, but I am worried they might get too accustomed to only certain foods and not learn to eventually range or eat what is available. any suggestions?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What you are observing is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about.
     
  3. Bstruss

    Bstruss Just Hatched

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    Okay thanks, because I have read of some having success feeding alternative foods to chicks of only a few days old. So I wasn't sure whether they need to be trained to forage or accept other foods or whether tgat will come naturally with age. I am a newbie.
     
  4. Bstruss

    Bstruss Just Hatched

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    ..Well the young girls did actually start picking at an upturned dandelion I placed in the cage (roots and all).
     
  5. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kept my girls on nothing but Start & Grow for 8 weeks. I put them outside in coop at 5 weeks, and introduced them to scratch grains at 8 weeks, scattered on the ground, twice a day, only what they consume in 10/15 minutes. One month later my 5 girls devastated a 5 hundred square foot run, not a blade of grass or weed left. Nutrition is important at all stages of life in modern chickens. I kept them on Start & Grow for 16 weeks and switched to layers pellets when they started to squat over a 2 week period. They have unlimited access to feed 24/7. They eat a lot less feed in summer with all the bugs, worms and insects, here in the northeast. In winter they need a nutritious feed to keep warm and healthy and in their first winter, lay eggs and future winters to get through molt. GC
     
  6. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are notorious for be suspicious of new things. Just continue introducing them to new things, they'll come around.
     
  7. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She just isn't hungry enough yet.

    Once her stomach starts growling, she'll get over it.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I totally agree. Whether you introduce that stuff now or later or not at all, when they have the option they will forage.

    They are really suspicious of anything new. Even my adults sometimes ignore new things I toss in the run that are normally great chicken treats, at least for a while.

    If it really bothers you, take them outside today for a bit and let them peck at the ground. I don’t know where you are, how cold it is, or if your ground is covered by snow, but they can usually handle really cold weather for a while. Just watch them, they will tell you when they are getting cold. Broody hens take their chicks out foraging in freezing weather. Many people are surprised at how well the chicks can handle cold weather.
     

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