Baby chicks scratching


In the Brooder
Mar 17, 2018
I just brought home baby chicks yesterday morning. Ever since then, a group of 3 or more gather in corners and scratch up the saw dust until they reach the cardboard lining on the bottom. They’re addicted to pecking at the cardboard. Is this an instinct or is this a boredom buster?
This is instinct. A couple days out of the egg, the mother hen will take her chicks out of the nest and start them scratching around for food. This is why I usually scatter some dry crumbles on the sand in the coop for the chicks to learn to eat. They will notice food on the ground way before they notice it in a feeder or dish.

Back when I was brooding indoors in a brooder box, I gave the chicks a tub of sand to scratch and dirt bathe in. It satisfies lots of natural urges and keeps them out of trouble.

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