Can I give baby chicks ants or worms?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by scrapper, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. scrapper

    scrapper Hatching

    Jun 17, 2008
    This is my first time raising chickens. We ordered ten day old hens and they are great! So funny! We have a big brooder that we built for them inside the house. They are two weeks old today. My husband wants to give them some ants and worms. Is that okay or are they too young?
  2. CUDA

    CUDA Songster

    Mar 4, 2008
    In my opinion you are better off to just feed them the starter, and lay off the treats. I know people here will disagree, but that is what seems to work best for me.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi Scrapper and welcome to the forum.
    With respect to CUDA, who has alot more chicken knowledge than I do, I am in the give treats camp. Something tells me that worms shouldn't be the first treat though. I guess I'm basing that on my experience. Why not try some plain yogurt or some chopped hard-boiled egg for their first treat instead? As for ants, I don't and wouldn't give them at all. The chicks will find plenty of those on their own when they can go outside and play. Wait to give worms for a couple of more weeks.
    What I do believe is that treats are really more for us than the chicks. They can and have done just fine on their starter feed. It's just a delight to watch them with the treats.
  4. HickChick Wannabe

    HickChick Wannabe In the Brooder

    May 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    I'd be interested in hearing more comments on this topic. I just got my chicks yesterday and would love to know what I can give them besides the crumbles. Any reason not to give them ants? I did find a tiny baby worm that I already gave one and it gobbled it up easily. [​IMG] Bugs don't really seem like "treats" to me (as in junk food), since they would be eating them if they were outside with a Mama hen...

    Any more opinions out there?
  5. Lea71

    Lea71 Songster

    I'm treat guilty.....I gave my girls their first garden worms at about two weeks, they're five weeks now. Last nite I went out and caught them these little, green grasshoppers....because they've come back again this year and I'm determined not to let them ruin my tomatoes. [​IMG] They loved 'em!!! It was funny watching them chase them around....they gobbled them up. My girls eat the occassional ant that wanders through the coop and I've had no problems. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
  6. Nupine

    Nupine Songster

    Nov 21, 2007
    I would stick to chick start, if you want to give them treats, throw teeny pieces of bread in there and watch them run around and chase it!!

    Almost forgot, [​IMG] !!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Do NOT give ants. Most ants have a horrid taste due to a bitter acid they keep stored inside their abdomens. It is a chemical defense against predators. So, it would not be a treat that would be very appreciated by your chicks, and it could possibly make them feel sick. [​IMG]
  8. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    I am a guilty 'treat giver' as well. So far, I've given my chicks (ages 2 wks up to 5 wks):

    yogurt (messy, but they enjoyed it)
    watermelon (a BIG hit)
    mealworms (OMG, they were in heaven!)

    The yogurt cracks me up because they jump into the middle of the plate and then look all surprised when their feet sink in. Then they try to take a step and realize that they are stuck and they freak out a little because they feel trapped. Once they pull themselves free they leap back out of the yogurt and run around a bit with shavings and yogurt stuck to their feet while the other chicks chase them to peck it off. Oh, and proving that they've learned absolutely nothing from the experience, they turn around and get right back onto the plate to start the whole cycle over again. [​IMG]

    The mealworms were even more entertaining because they don't eat them right away. They run over and snatch them out of your hand and then run around the brooder peeping up a storm while the rest of the chicks chase them around trying to steal their treat. Fun for everyone except the worms! [​IMG]
  9. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Quote:I have to disagree with this. We have used baby chicks as natural ant killers for YEARS. They love them!
  10. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    My 9 week olds love ants. My DH dug up part of an anthill and put it in their run a few days ago. It was hilarious watching them run after all those ants!

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