Can my babies eat anything other than starter feed yet?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SandJmom, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. SandJmom

    SandJmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    When I bought my chicks (they are about 4 weeks old), the lady told me they are not old enough to eat anything but the medicated starter feed. I've seen some posts that say they are giving theirs yogurt and fruit.
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    As long as they have access to grit, they can eat many other things :)

    my mamas feed their babies whatever they eat. Only loss from diet was due to chicks eating their shavings.
     
  3. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2011
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    So long as you limit the "treats" like yogurt and fruit to a minimum, they should be okay. Giving them too much could stress out their digestive systems. I let my youngsters nibble on clover and grass but always keep their feeder full of crumbles. I've never given any of my chickens grit since they have access to the ground, I figure they peck up enough sandy and rocky particles while eating not to need it. Just be VERY wary of letting chicks that young onto an area where they can get into hay or long leaves of grass. You don't want it matting up in their tiny crops. I guess if they get grit or enough rough textured stuff from the ground they should be okay.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What you are talking about is technically grit. You don't need to buy grit, as long as they free range they will find it.

    I agree, always make sure that the majority of their diet still comes from the crumbles.
     
  5. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
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    My girls are 4 weeks old and are inside in their brooders, i was reading posts about adding baby grit to their food, i have found that they really love to scratch and peck for their food so i throw a little grit on the bottom of their brooder-- i also got them a baby forage cake that they have recently come to enjoy this past week and i hang that from the top of the brooder and they peck away. I tried to offer them a few meal worms but they were not interested in the least although they did enjoy a handful of grass clippings but other than that, i haven't tried to introduce any other fruits or veges -- they seem to enjoy their chick crumbles the most so that's the majority of their diet at this point. From what i've read, this should be the main source of their diet up to 8 weeks
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Treats are a very good way to tame them. I always offer treats at a young age. Usually start with scrambled eggs. This is very good for them.

    Zucchini was a favourite of mine after eggs. They just love it.
     
  7. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2011
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    Yes, but a lot of people think you need to buy the bagged grit and keep it in a bowl/feeder. I've seen people in the emergencies section saying "Help! My 2-day old chicks aren't eating their grit! Are they going to die?!?" That's why I said I don't give them grit. They get it themselves from the ground as needed.

    Another good treat is leftover berries. My chickens love it when we have strawberries or raspberries that get partially eaten by slugs or birds so they aren't fit for human consumption.

    Zucchini...that sounds like a good way to get rid of some end-of-season baseball bats! I'll have to try that next time my squash get out of control and no one at work can take any more.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    They don't need grit unless they are offered treats that are hard to break down, and only if they are confined to a brooder without natural grit available.

    Squash is REALLY good for them, and is a natural worm preventative :) Same with pumpkins. My birds also LOVE cottage cheese. They aren't huge fans of yoghurt unless you mix something in with it. I usually get the plain local kind that comes in a 2 litre milk container. I usually do this for birds with crop issues. It cured my RIR with sour crop. Great stuff that yoghurt!

    Yes berries are a favourite. Grapes.. any fruit really. They also love tomatoes. I need to grow some tomatoes just for them.

    ETA: Oh and I don't offer grit or oyster shell in feeders. They go on the ground, and they scratch around for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  9. SandJmom

    SandJmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    Thanks everyone. I was just wanting to give them a treat but the lady acted so determined that I only give the starter feed. She said no, they are not ready for anything else.
     

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