Chicks don't know what to do with worms

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by azygous, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    This has me baffled. I'm raising my second batch of chicks this summer. The first batch of six chicks are now ten weeks old, and I gave them their first earth worms at age three days. They knew exactly what to do with them, no hesitation at all. One of the Ameraucanas grabbed up a worm and the game of keep-away was on. They devoured those first worms as if it were in their DNA knowing worms are the number one chicken delicacy of all chicken world, and their enthusiasm hasn't waned.

    Now I have three four-week old chicks, same breeds as the other batch, and they still have almost no clue what to do with worms when I give them to them, even though I've been offering them worms for several weeks.

    They stand around looking at the worms, maybe giving them an unenthusiastic peck, and pay more attention to the clumps of dirt clinging to the hapless worms. Once, when a worm got wrapped around one baby's leg, she ran screaming around the brooder as if it were a poisonous snake. These little guys love lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, and boiled egg. They get grit to help them digest these treats. They just seem to be completely indifferent to worms.

    Has anyone else run into this phenomenon?
     
  2. spoggy

    spoggy d'Anver d'Nut

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    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] I'm sorry, I don't know why they're acting that way, but the mental image of that little chick has me rolling. [​IMG]
     
  3. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Quebec
    [​IMG]

    I think it is normal to have one batch of chicks not be the same kind of 'smart' as a previous batch. I have read about it on here, that's for sure. My latest hatch would not touch the hardboiled egg but the previous hatch loved them. It's really up to that ONE little chick to take the first bite and the others follow. I guess if there is no "ONE little chick" you're screwed! [​IMG]
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The thought that there was some sort of "group intelligence" involved did cross my mind.

    My first batch had two very precocious and assertive individuals in it. It does make sense that absent this assertive "leadership", the group will be directionless and passive. That certainly seems to be the case here.

    My disappointment over their lack of enthusiasm for worms is because worms are such a great bonding agent. I used worms to train the first batch of chicks to come running when I call them, and it has paid off in spades when I need to gather them up to put them in the coop at night.

    I was hoping I could use worms to my advantage again, but I guess I'll just have to hunt further for that irresistible bonding agent.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Psssst! Try shredded mozzarella cheese!
     
  6. TheChickenCameFirst

    TheChickenCameFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe you got a batch of vegetarian chickies [​IMG] I'd wait on offering it to them... maybe wait till they are a bit older and wiser. [​IMG]
     
  7. Amyable

    Amyable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are also clueless on worms, and they're 12+ weeks old now. But I've seen them get 3 mice. [​IMG]
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Psssst! Try shredded mozzarella cheese!

    AND WE HAVE A WINNER! I just tried some shredded mozzarella cheese on the three jaded chicks. OMG! What a reaction! Picture all three chicks grabbing up a bit of cheese and racing around playing "keep-away" with two other mates who are doing the same thing! Pandemonium!

    Certainly not the indifference they show toward worms! For the first time in their lives, albeit all four weeks of it, they actually showed some excitement!

    Maybe they are vegetarian!
     

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