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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sunnybunbuns, Jun 18, 2016.
I have two 3 week old white silkies. Is it safe to feed them meal worms and cat food as a treat?
Glad you joined us! You can feed them mealworms, oats, broken up pieces of sunflower seeds, greens, grass, weeds, just make sure the grass, plants, weeds, greens, are in little pieces since it can get impacted in their crop. If you feed them treats ALWAYS make sure they have grit. Little pieces of rocks and gravel. You can probably buy it at a local feed store. But make sure its for chicks, adult poultry grit is too big for chicks. If you don't have grit, don't feed them treats. Also, cat food can be pretty salty and even though my older chickens eat it, I wouldn't feed it to them. Other people may tell you different. I have never fed my chicks cat food, so it might be okay. But too much salt can hurt a chicken. And when you feed treats always make sure you give it LIMITED quantities. You wouldn't give your kids cake, ice cream, doughnuts, pie, cookies, 3 or 4 times a day. Make sure they are getting more chick food them treats. Hope this helps!
Personally, I stick to starter feed - it's nutritionally balanced so makes sense (to me, at least). You have some good advice in the above post however, should you wish to feed treats.
Moderation! Chick starter is what chicks need the most. You wouldn't feed a baby cookies and ice cream and let it spoil their appetite for well balanced meals, so you want to keep treats for baby chicks to a minimum, also.
That said, my chicks got meal worms from the time they were two days old. Treats are useful for bonding with your chicks and as a teaching aid to get them used to coming when you call them.
And it is sure-fire fun to watch a good game of chick keep-away with meal worms which often turns into chick pandemonium. Good times!
If you are feeding them anything more than chick feed, they need to have chick grit. It will enable them to grind up the treats in their gizzards so they can get the nutrients out of the treats as the food passes thru the rest of the digestive system. Think of the gizzard as a blender which grinds of the feed so it is easier for the action of the G.I tract to extract the nutrients from the feed. Happy gizzard, happy chicken!
This link may help in terms of background to the need for grit
Thank you all!! I now feed my two Silkies meal worms and let them free range out side for five mins at a time.