1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Bugs & Veggies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickie_momma, Sep 3, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. chickie_momma

    chickie_momma Out Of The Brooder

    78
    0
    39
    Aug 20, 2008
    When can you safely start to give the chicks bugs and raw veggies??

    Mine are only 1 day old so I know it is too ealy for them....
     
  2. peepy_peep

    peepy_peep Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Aug 6, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    mine are 5 weeks old and just starting to be interested in treats. I've read here about all the different stuff chickens like. I'm sure eventually they'll like it all, but they started in phases so here is what I discovered:

    at 3 weeks I tried giving them yogurt. They weren't interested.

    at 4 weeks, I tried giving them a slice of tomato. They pecked at it sort of bored-like. The next day I gave them a piece of cheddar cheese and they went NUTS.

    at 4.5 weeks I stuck a piece of celery through the wire and they slowly pecked at it until it was gone.

    last night, they wolfed down some lettuce. Also, I caught a tiny grasshopper (the size of my thumbnail) and tossed that in. It disappeared as soon as it hit the floor!

    I've noticed that when I take them outside, they peck at the fluffy dandelions. Hmm, what should I try next??
     
  3. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
    3
    131
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    You can give it anytime, but they will need a source of grit. This is my opinion and it is unorthodox. But chickens have been around much longer than commercial chicken feed. When a source tells you to feed this or that, undoubtedly it is coming from a point of view of economics. The more commercial feed the chicken eats the faster it grows the faster it starts to return your investment.

    If you are keeping a few chickens, does it matter if your five hens lay at 21 weeks and not 19? Or that you get 1100 eggs instead of 1000? I think it is plausible that chickens would be healthier over the long run if they grow a bit slower.

    If a hen hatches a chick on a farm or back in the Asian jungles, bugs would be high on the menu. Maybe of critical importance. Wild turkeys time hatching for insect availability. No baby chick reared naturally would step over a piece of lettuce because it was too young either. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jarhead

    Jarhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    626
    4
    141
    Aug 12, 2008
    Arkansas
    We have been giving our chicks bugs, worms, and organic veggies since they were 1/2 a week old. They have done fine. They are also put in a large run to free range everyday in our organic yard. They are super healthy.
     
  5. chickie_momma

    chickie_momma Out Of The Brooder

    78
    0
    39
    Aug 20, 2008
    Good point-pkeeler...

    Do chicks need grit while eating starter food???

    Would tiny tiny pieces of gravel work as proper grit??
     
  6. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    no grit needed if they are on crumbles only...just when they eat more solid stuff...like pellets, bugs, grass...etc.. [​IMG]
    ~Rebecca
     
  7. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    955
    1
    141
    May 29, 2008
    Sand and dirt work fine as grit, if the gravel is sand-sized then go ahead and give it to them. I just put mine in a pen on the ground and let them collect their own (no real grass here, so he goes on a pile of weeds or the dirt when I put him out with me.). As they grow they can handle a little bigger bits of rock and dirt, but I think sand works at any age.
     
  8. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
    3
    131
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    Do chicks need grit while eating starter food???

    Would tiny tiny pieces of gravel work as proper grit??

    Chicks don't need grit when eating a diet purely of commercial feed. However, studies show that free choice of grit, even when birds are only eating commercial feed, leads to larger, healthier gizzards when the birds are adults.

    Tiny pieces of gravel would be the definition of chick grit [​IMG] Just make sure they are rock and not oyster shell. Most feed stores, pet stores, and even the local supermarket or Walmart will have Parakeet grit. This is good for chicks, just look for varieties without oyster shell.​
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,194
    641
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    When my chicks were about 2 wks old, I started them on chick grit .My baby chicks are given free choice and they choose it with pleaure, baby grit is fine Granite, as soon as they are given anything besides Starter Crumbles. Their tiny gizzards are at optimum function at an early age. I couldn't find any chick grit, so I smashed up regular granite grit fairly fine. First I gave them some small pieces of lettuce as I had a lot in my garden. They picked at it. I started giving them vegie scraps cut up pretty fine too. At first they just picked at everything. I had some grubs in my compost so I tried them and the chicks went crazy for them. I guess it boils down to trial and error. Just make sure if you give them anything, be sure to give them chick grit too.
     
  10. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

    32,242
    918
    491
    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by