carrot shavings as treats?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pipit, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. pipit

    pipit In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brooksville, FL
    My chicks are almost two months old now. I've been trying to find something to get them to trust me. Many posts suggest giving them treats. After many failures, I found they love thinly shaved carrot. It got them eating out of my hand and coming to me when I didn't even have anything for them. My husband raised a concern about the carrots giving them loose poop. I don't want to hurt them. Are carrots ok?:|
  2. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Songster

    Feb 25, 2007
    Southern WV
    Yeah, As far as I know carrots won't hurt them. I've fed my hens carrots fresh from garden and its never hurt them.
  3. chickiepooh

    chickiepooh In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2007
    Otsego, Minnesota
    I give my girls all kinds of kitchen scraps. They are a year old now but I have fed scraps to them since they were about the same age as yours, just not as much as I feed them now. Loose poop never seemed to be a problem. Their poop changes all the time depending on what they eat. I also occationally give my girls mealworms and wax worms. They love them. I also have given them plain popcorn too. [​IMG]
  4. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    I'd say that as long as they're getting most of their nutrition from their feed (which you already know, of course) and you keep an eye on their poops to make sure they're the right consistency, carrots are probably pretty healthy for them. I imagine they will also help make the yolks ORANGE when they start laying.

  5. lively Bee's

    lively Bee's Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    We feed vegetavles every day but the #1 is lettuce they go craze over it get a head of ice burg and just pitch it in to them
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Grated carrot is said to be a natural worm preventative. But like any treat, don't over do it. Everything you feed effects the protein level and nutrition intake of the feed you provide. Too much of anything, whether it is salt, specific vitamins, calcium, sugars and fats can do more harm than good.

    Llysse is right, the beta carotene (a form of Vitamin A) in the carrots will help make their yolks deeper orange. If you let your chickens forage your yard, your eggs will be two to six times richer in beta carotene than eggs from hens not allowed to forage.

  7. pipit

    pipit In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brooksville, FL
    Thanks everyone! I'll try the lettuce. The girls really love those carrot shavings, though. I tried minced carrots and they didn't seem to like it. But when I tried the shavings, they went crazy! What about fruit? Would they eat banana peels?

  8. chickenmomva

    chickenmomva In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2007
    Northern Neck,VA
    My pullets are 11 weeks old a peeled cucumbers are a big hit........they actually will fight over who will sit on my lap to get one
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:You can give shaved or grated carrots, fruit is okay too. I wouldn't feed banana peels. Our flock is 10 months old. Personally, I keep the layer feed as their main source of fed nutrition.

    Here's what we feed our flock....these are my personal ideas.

    We have 17 standard heritage breed birds which are being raised like pets. Aside from the "goodies" they eat while foraging our two acres, they are fed a vegetarian diet; vegetarian layer feed or certified organic layer mash being their main source of required nutrients.

    I would prefer not to feed animal fats and protein to our flock, as I would rather not find out about problems similar to BSE in cattle occuring in poultry.

    They have free-choice access to grit and oyster shell. They are regularly given apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper.

    In warmer weather we use a treat in the evening to call them back into the barn, as we have a couple birds that I am convinced would stay out all night if they were allowed. Since it's been so brutal this winter, the flock "foraged" in the barn and we used treats to get them back into the hen house for the night.

    We like to give the treat in the evening because it also gives us an opportunity to spend some time with the birds to check for problems before they are locked up in the hen house for the night. This routine helps us quickly identify any bird that needs to be isolated. Also, watching the flock is also a great way to unwind at the end of the day.

    This past winter, we fed our flock lots of greens since they didn't have access to the yard (4+ feet of snow). We have a two-tier wire-basket hanging planter that is made of heavy gauge steel. We hang it from a beam in the barn on a bungie cord. We fill the lower basket with veggies, hay or fruit (a quartered head of cabbage, chopped alfalfa hay, cored & quartered apples, etc). The birds have to jump to get the treats in the basket. The top basket is loaded with rocks to keep the basket kind of low for the chickens while it gets emptied.

    Luckily, our local grocery sells organic veggies and fruits at about the same prices as non-organic, so that is what I purchase. Items I've listed below were either organically home-grown or purchased as organic with the exception of the cottage cheese and buttermilk, which I haven't found locally as organically produced yet.

    Our flock loves greens (veggie tops), kale, Swiss chard, lettuces, red and green cabbage (they especially love the red), Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, corn, tomatoes and all types of summer and winter squash.

    They go crazy for fruit like cranberries, blueberries, plums, apples, grapes, bananas and peaches. Sometimes I puree the fruit to mix with their feed.

    We also give them chopped hard cooked eggs, buttermilk, plain yogurt w/active cultures, low-sodium cottage cheese with their feed and provide organic grains (rolled oats, barley, wheat) and fancy scratch, sunflower, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.

    We give them buttermilk, yogurt or cottage cheese, sometimes mixed with their feed or with another treat - they love it with berries or chopped tomatoes or crushed garlic.

    I add 2-4 cloves of crushed garlic per bird to their feed, but they also love to eat it off a spoon. They drink the buttermilk out of a small feeder dish.

    This past summer we had a great deal of 'surplus' sweet corn which I processed for winter treating. I dried some corn kernels in my oven and blanched some whole ears for freezing. I cook the frozen corn on the cob, cutting each ear into thirds and give each bird one piece. It keeps them busy, provides them semi-warm corn on a cold winter's night and it's amusing to watch them attack their little cobs. I just have to watch that the greedier birds don't finish their piece and try to grab someone else's!

    When I make corn or pumpkin muffins for us, I make some without the added sugar and salt, and substituting whole egg for the oil asked for in the recipe.

    Our flock got lots of fresh veggies and blueberries from our garden this past summer and they nibbled on parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, sage and garlic from my container gardens too.

    I think it is important when providing treats to remember
    -that they are just treats, not a significant portion of their diet
    -watch salt, sugar and fat totals in what they are fed
    -they should be able to finish the treat within 10 minutes of feeding
    -never feed them anything you wouldn't eat yourself, like moldy or spoiled veggies
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007

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