I read on here someone gave their birds string cheese and being a dummy i thought they meant chicks. so i fed my babies some small bits of string cheese. thay adored it but now i wonder if i need to be worried about them or if it was okay.....
I wouldn't be too concerned about it as long as it was a very small amount.
I won't start giving mine any treats until they are at least a month old so they get used to eating their chick start and get the nutrition they need before realizing that treats are great!
By the way, you're not a dummy at all, you just wanted to give your babies a treat!
The "risk" in feeding any chick any kind of treat is if they can digest it. Since chickens do not have teeth, they have to be able to grind up their food AFTER they swallow. Which is why we provide grit - to aid in the grinding.
IMO, chicks - brooder age or younger shouldn't be given anything but chick feed until they are moved out of the brooder. In my world, that means at about 2 months old. At that point, they are feathered and out with free range time where they can pick up tiny bits of rock and grit to help in digestion. I provide a chick grit for them in their feed as well at this point.
everyone will have their own way of doing things and you'll always get tons of varying opinions, this is just what I do.
. I know i need to get on the ball there. I am so glad for your replies and I do provide grit...have from day one. mixed in with their food. I should probably hold off on treats but that was the most entertaining thing i have seen in awhile!
Once mine were more than a week old, I started with simple treats: warm mash of their crumbles every day, some small mealworms every few days, and some shredded mozzarella cheese every few days. (I chose the shredded cheese because they were 'small worm-sized' bits. Nothing too long.... ) Once they were getting the treats, I also provided "construction sand" for grit.
A fifty pound sack o' sand costs $2.98 at Lowe's. That's pretty darned cheap. I usually put some in a litter box type pan in the covered part of the run for dust baths, and scratching, for the grown up chickens, to use when the rest of the run is icky from rain. Then toss the rest of the sand in one spot in the run for them to pick at and scratch and take "dust baths" in, when it's NOT raining.
Construction sand has various sizes of things in it, small pebbles, bits of granite, and sand. The chickens pick out what they like.
A cupful of this sand in the brooder is great for the chicks. Actually, I put about a quarter cup in the brooder every couple days, but I didn't have a lot of chicks.
NOT "play" sand - that's too fine. The pebbles and bits in construction sand is basically the same as what a chicken would pick up for "grit" in nature.