Eating too much dirt outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by donnap1967, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Northern NJ
    My chicks are six weeks old now and I have been taking them outside for an hour each afternoon since the weather has just started getting nice. I don't have a coop yet so I take them out to the backyard thats all fenced in and I sit out there and guard them from any predators.

    They seem to eat tons of dirt out there. So today to distract them from the dirt I made some oatmeal and brought it out to them. By the time they ate a little plate of oatmeal and tons of dirt it felt like their crops were soo full. Could they be eating too much??

    Also, they don't come when I call them at all. I try to always chant "Here chick, chick, chick" when I give them treats so they associate that call with something good and come running. Figured treats might work. But they just ignore me and keep eating dirt lol. Is there any way to teach them to come when you call them? Or will it just take more time?

    They really love it out there and I wish I could get my husband to build a coop soon. I feel bad that they don't get more time. I would leave them free range in the yard with the fencing but I am afraid of hawks getting them. I know lots of people have free range chickens but I don't know how to protect them if they do that. Maybe full grown chickens can protect themselves? But mine are still just babies.
     
  2. S0rcy

    S0rcy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you sure they are eating dirt and not bugs IN the dirt, or seeds, or tender little sprouts?
     
  3. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    They're not eating dirt. They're being chickens. [​IMG]

    Not all birds come when called. The first batch I hatched come to me when I cluck, and generally jump and roost all over me. Of the second, larger batch I hatched, about half will come and half ignore me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  4. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Northern NJ
    It's possible they could be eating something other than dirt I guess. There arent a whole lot of bugs in the yard and I sometimes go over to them to see what they are feasting on but I cant seem to figure out what they find so delectable. I thought they were eating dirt as a source of grit.

    I am such a worry wort. Can you tell I am a first time chicken mommy? hehe [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They are probably eating tons of goodies and just a few rocks.. just think of all the bugs and seeds you can't see but they can!
     
  6. Justino

    Justino ♪♫ Rockin' Rooster ♪♫

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    Dec 21, 2007
    KY
    Quote:i wish mine were that nice and would roost on me! mine only come and eat outa my hand and jump in my lap when IM eating [​IMG] and try to get some of what im eatin [​IMG]
     
  7. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    LOL, I have a bet going and I'm proving a co-worker wrong. He told me RIRs were very mean and aggressive and I told him no, it's the way you raise them. I have 16 and they all sweet so far.
     

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