Feeding Baby Chicks Natural Stuff

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shelz, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Shelz

    Shelz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do any of you feed your baby chicks something other then commercial chick feeds? I dont mean instead of the chick food, but as an addition to.

    I would think it would be healthier for them if they had some natural foods added, that they would get if they were out foraging with their mothers, But is that safe to do at a young age?
     
  2. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I give my chicks scrapes all the time but not untill they are about 4 weeks. I'm sure they would be fine younger then that I just do not do it, because they are so tiny I'm afraid they may get to big of pieces and chock.
     
  3. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A mother hen has them out foraging and exploring at a week old. Just supervise their outings for their safety and make sure they don't get chilled. Just wait till one catches a bug and they all go crazy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  4. Shelz

    Shelz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL,,that would be fun to see....little hunters arent they?
     
  5. Shelz

    Shelz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So would it be safe to start incorporating some new "treats" here and there, when the chicks are a week old? Can they handle maybe some small meal worms? Crickets? Grass? Dandelion? In very small portions of course.?
     
  6. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a small flock of 11 week olds.

    At a week old, I took the advice of member terryg from her website Hencam.com (highly recommend, a great website), and put a big clod of earth with a big ol dandelion and other weeds in it. I made sure enough dirt was attached to it. She explained it would start the chicks exploring, and gives them lots to do, and cuts down on the chances of pecking. They can begin exposure to microbes in the dirt that they will soon be ranging over, and also they love the greens! Just be careful at first there is not too much fine grass as chicks have trouble with that, but the weeds and dandelions are great. They also love to start picking at the dirt, their first grit!

    You should have seen my girls when I put that in there, they would jump up and down on it like it was fantasy Island. A few times, they even found earthworms in the clod, now that was a site to see. It set forth a full blown riot, and the chase was on! You can sure tell even from those early days who the top hens and aggressive eaters are!

    I also gave plain yogurt with chick grit and raisens mixed in starting at 4 weeks.I have found mine love chopped tomato, corn on or off the cob, strawberries and also squash cut in half and they tear that up! Remember give everything in small amounts. Its tempting to just keep feeding them good stuff, but I have noticed, the poos get very runny if you give to much. Everything in moderation. Oh, and lets not forget, the LOVE mealworms!

    Good Luck,
    MB
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    One more thing,

    Especially with new foods, they tend to act like you have just thrown the devil himself in the brooder box with them, and they are frightened to death of anything new. Be patient, it takes a few tries. The first time I put down the chopped tomato,, they didn't touch it for two days. Now, they just about tear my hand off when I put the paper plate down on the floor.



    MB
     
  8. Shelz

    Shelz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the great info.....and I will definately check out the website you recommended....sounds like there will be a wealth of good information there.
     
  9. slordaz

    slordaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my 6-8 week old chicks must be strange then, but they had a duckling they used for a momma from the brooder to the coop, they love lettuce, tomato pieces, the flowers off the tops of broccoli and cauliflower. sweet pepper pieces,oats and seeds, if the duck will eat it they will at least try it. none of them liked the meal worms but they have a hay day with live bugs out in the run.

    I do fermented feed for mine though so with the exception of the fresh veggie treats I let it soak in there and back fill it, and also add in a big piece of sod it is mostly weeds with some grass mix into the run, they were having a party with that until the duck decided to build a nest lol.

    they're reaction to new stuff I think is how used to interaction and change they are. Ours were impatient to be outside lol. but we changed things around on them even in the brooding pen so they learned new things happen all the time, they were in the coop while we were finishing up and always had to try anything the duck was having.

    note: mine tend to have a variety of options to them for feed in case they decide they don't like something
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  10. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure they also have grit available if you introduce any of those foods indoors or in the brooder.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

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