Aren't chicks supposed to scratch in their litter for food?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by amk3000, May 17, 2009.

  1. amk3000

    amk3000 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    NE PA
    This is my first time raising chicks (1 BO and 1 RIR), and they are almost 3 wks old. I notice they only eat directly from the feeder. The BO in particular likes to stick her head in the feeder when it is newly filled and dash feed all over the place. However, neither of them will touch the spilled feed.
    Besides not appreciating all the lost feed, I also was hoping to use the deep litter method once I've put them in their coop. I understand that part of the success of this method depends on their scratching about and mixing all their dried poo with the litter. Right now, in the brooder, their poo just stays on top, so I'm covering it with fresh pine shavings every couple of days, which is more frequently than I thought I had to.
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Have you tried putting any treats on their litter? If you break up some bread into pieces or use some shredded cheese I think they'll be scratching away in no time. Good luck!
     
  3. eponagirl

    eponagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Quiet Corner, CT
    I think when they get a little bit older you should see them start to scratch around. Mine are 4.5 weeks old and they are scratching around now...have been for a week or so now. They even dust themselves now in the pellets (we use pellets not shavings) and spilled food! Perhaps just more time for your chicks??
     
  4. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    my first chicks were from the store and did a little bit of scratching around but not for food. The chicks I have now are with momma and she has them constantly scratching for food. She will actually use her head to knock it out of the feeder and teach them to scratch for food, they do use the feeder too though.
     
  5. amk3000

    amk3000 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    NE PA
    Thanks for the replies.
    Eponagirl - what sort of pellets do you use? Also, that is really great quote from Henry Ford.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Raising the feeder to the level of their backs and using something under it to catch most of the spilled food, like a paper plate under a small round feeder, will cut down on waste. Eventually they will scratch in the litter and eat the spilled feed.
     
  7. eponagirl

    eponagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Quiet Corner, CT
    Thanks! [​IMG] We use pellets called Woody Pet (get them from a local farm store or Agway in the Northeast). You can also use Equine pellets at tractor supply or any wood pellets that are 100% pine and nothing else added.
     

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