Do chicks need greens to thrive?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NateinFL, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Wesley Chapel FL
    I've always had my babies in covered pens with at least some grass, however all my pens are grass-less now and I can only let my bantam babies out whenever I'm out there because of hawks. I feel bad when they don't get to eat greens but is it really necessary for them to graze? Thanks
  2. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    For my older chicks I buy a little tub of wheatgrass ($1.99) at the grocery store or a roll of sod ($2.50) at the nursery. I cut off a square of the sod and put it in until they pick the grass out. One roll lasts a long time. I don't feed grass until they are older. I tried once with younger ones and they had green diarrhea. I also don't expose my chicks to soil or birds who have been in contact with soil until I vaccinate for them for Mareks. I also buy a tub of the organic mixed salad greens and throw a few sprigs of that in daily. They especially love the frisse. One grabs it and the others chase him to take it away. Keeps them occupied for hours.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If they're being fed a nutri. balanced feed it wouldn't be needed...but it sure would be appreciated! We could get by on an apple, slice of bread, hunk of beef, glass of milk and a carrot stick every day for every meal. But some variety is nice [​IMG]
  4. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Wesley Chapel FL
    Thanks I just made them a little make-shift pen in the backyard that they can stay in while I'm home. It's flimsy wire but it will keep them safe from hawks and I'll be able to run out there if I hear somethin'. I might try that roll of sod thing, that would keep them busy. I buy them those seed bells to peck at and they like those. Thanks for the advice [​IMG]
  5. Spore

    Spore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2009
    Do chicks need greens to thrive? yes.

    Do chicks need greens to survive? no.

    But really, it is like humans. Look at the folks that eat veggies and fruits as part of the diet and then look at the fast food eaters. You tell me who is thriving.

  6. Farmer Benjii

    Farmer Benjii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    Vic, AUS
    They should be introduced to greens (grass,fruits,etc) at about 2 and a half weeks

    Hope i helped a bit [​IMG]
  7. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    I try to develop chicks into 'good greens eaters'. I start their first 'treats' at 2 weeks old by clipping grass or clover into the brooder. I use scissors to snip it to baby size. In cold weather I use snipped lettuces. Also start providing chick grit at this time.

    I only feed greens as treats until they're about 6-8 weeks. Then I like to start them on cooked carrot or sweet potato, raw pumpkin, squash or zucchini, occassionally a little fruit.

    I don't introduce anything starchy like corn, bread, rice, crackers at all until they're about 3 - 4 months. Starchy stuff is candy in the chicken world. I feel introducing these last makes better layers, not picky eaters who wait to gobble up carbs. They forage better as free range hens and readily eat greens or orange veggies - resulting in richer, darker yolks.

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