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First Worm

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Pineywoods Peepers, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    So I was out in the garden today and found a big fat horn worm on my tomato plants. Instead of squishing as I normally do, I decided I'd give it to the two week old peepers. I set it beside their crate and rushed in to get my phone to video the chaos sure to ensue. When I got in I got distracted and didn't get back out to the worm and the peepers for about 20 minutes. The worm was gone from where I'd left it (dang!), but I looked around and discovered the crazy thing had crawled up the cardboard I put around the bottom of the crate to prevent drafts and keep the shavings in and was crawling around the edge of the cardboard. I video'd the events in short snippets.

    The RIR flaps up to the lip of the cardboard and the worm is within 5 inches of her.

    The chicks finally notice the worm crawling around, but aren't quite sure what to do with it.

    Someone finally tries pecking at the worm

    I put the worm lower down in the box, so the chicks had better access to it in hopes they might get a little more aggressive with the worm.

    Still no takers. So I put the worm down in the brooder expecting a little more action.

    I stood out there 20 - 30 minutes waiting for the peppers to demolish the horn worm, and they were all pretty ambivalent about it. I just knew they'd grab that thing up, run around peeping and get into a tug-of-war over it. But they were mostly just curious and a little scared and didn't really know what to do with it. In their defense it was their first worm and a doozy at that. Plus no one's modeled how to kill a horn worm for them.

    I think next time I may try a smaller caterpillar or something...

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I gathered a small cup full of corn ear worms when processing some sweet corn and dumped the worms out on the dry dusty ground around a bunch of 13 week olds. They had been free ranging and had plenty of caterpillars before. The whole group just stood around, stretching their necks, looking at what was going in with this wriggling mass of worms but not getting too close. I left for a short bit and when I came back by, the chicks were partying and the worms were practically all gone. I guess one finally got brave and tried it, then they all jumped in.
  3. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    Same thing happened to me (sorta) when I bought them crickets for the first time. Complete indifference with minor curiosity from Sunny. I was amazed they didn't have an instant instinct to devower the little hoppers. Then I decided to give them some of the live mealworms I'd picked up at the same time. Figured since I'd been giving them roasted mealworms going to live mealworms might help them bridge the gap to cricket=food. It worked, but I think Sunny got all but a few of the crickets. Bless her, she's the smartest and the most skittish. Shania got a few and I don't think Scrambles got any. Once Sunny figured it out it turned into a mad rush between her and Shania and everything was gone before Scrambles wrap her little head around it.
  4. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2010
    Tipp City, Ohio
    Mine (three two week olds) love hangin' with me while I turn over rocks. Yesterday a HUGE spider came out and they went crazy!! Sunni grabbed it and the spider tried to crawl over her beak and a loud peep came out! It was like she screamed! All three of them were peeping loudly and running like crazy pecking at it. One of the girls (Miss Prissy) finally gulped it! It was hilarious!

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