Brooder toys for baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gtaus, May 12, 2019.

  1. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I have my first flock of 10 laying hens that are two week old chicks in a brooder in my attached garage. I am wondering if there are brooder toys or items of amusement I could provide the chicks as they mature?

    The chicks like scratching in the wood chips and pine shavings, but the only feed I give them is chick starter. So I doubt the scratching is turning up any tasty bugs. I do mound up the chips and shavings about 8 inches high in one corner, but it only takes about 10 minutes for the chicks to scratch that all done to level. I have two small pine tree branches for them to jump up on and roost, which they do sometimes. But that's about it for amusement.

    I am still a good 3-4 weeks away from letting them outside in a pen here in northern Minnesota. The days are still only mid 50F's, and nights still drop below freezing. So if I could keep these chicks happy with some toys that would be great. Or is it only me that thinks the chicks would benefit from some distractions and the chicks themselves really don't care one way or the other?
     
    green_thumb and tpatricco like this.
  2. My favorite toy i learned about here is a piece of sod in the brooder. They love it! I have also put hay in an empty toilet paper tube and they enjoy that also.
     
  3. I forgot to say i think they like distractions. If they are too bored, they pick at each other.
     
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  4. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

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    Pulling up a few pieces of sod is an excellent way to give them some enrichment in their environment.
    I will also get a terra cotta plant saucer and put some chick feed in it mixed with some chick grit and some Ultra Kibble for chicks. They love it.
    You could also use the saucer for treats that are kind of wet so it doesn’t get so messy and full of shavings but it usually ends up messy anyway lol.
    Or you could add warm water to the chick feed in the saucer to make a mash...they go nuts for that too.

    Try to find or make a little roost for them too. Mine like to sit lined up on it especially right before they go to bed.
     
  5. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I can do that. Thanks.
     
  6. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I have been hesitant to give any treats to the chicks. I read somewhere to hold off the table scraps until 6 weeks old. Had not thought about the chick starter mash, I will try that for sure. I made two small pine branch roosts for them, and they do perch on those from time to time. Thanks.
     
  7. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    Yes, I want to try to prevent those negative behaviors. My chicks are in a brooder in our attached garage and don't get real direct sunlight. On a warmer day, I do lift the garage doors and they get real light and fresh air. But it's not like they are running outside with a mama hen taking care of them.
     
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  8. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

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    Chicks LOVE mirrors! And the adults do too. I have mirrors in all my brooders and coops. ;)
     
  9. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

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    Be sure to give them some grit before you give them treats. A little canned cat food, and/or a few mealworms at 4 - 6 weeks is fine, just don't overdo it.
     
  10. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Roosts, as was mentioned, for sure. Also they love to climb on things, little log chunks, branches, pieces of wood....I call it chicken furniture....make these roosting options higher and higher as they grow. These options help them develop coordination and balance as well as providing diversion.
    baby roost.jpg baby roost2.jpg baby roost3.jpg

    baby roost5.jpg
     

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