Grit and treats for chicks as a bribe

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Oregonchix, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Oregonchix

    Oregonchix Out Of The Brooder

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    My two week old chicks are growing like crazy but still very frightened when I try to pick them up. They are in a big cardboard sided box and I read on one of these forums that chickens have an innate fear of overhead objects (think hawks!) so that makes sense they don't like when my big hand reaches down.

    However, I want them to come to me so if one gets out or later on when they might free range a little, they will want to come to me. I figure food is the answer but the only treat I tried (mashed up hard boiled egg) they were totally not interested in. So, here are my questions:

    1)best type of treat for young chicks?

    2)how do you feed the grit? I tried putting some in a little dish beside their main chick crumbles and they showed no interest in eating it. How much grit would you put out (I have 5 chicks)

    3) Best way to teach chicks/chickens to come to you? Is it possible? I keep reading when your chicks are a couple weeks old you can take them outside if it's warm but there is no way I would do that as they would scatter to the wind and never be caught! I figure you are supposed to keep them in a contained area but I worry that one might get out and then I'd have no way to catch it.
     
  2. IChickenGirl

    IChickenGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Baby chicks love crickets.

    Its the best treat I have found for them, and there cheap. Pet smart sells them for cheep and by the ton.
    When I have baby chicks, I normally cuddle with them. Sit with them. Take them out, let them sleep next to you or even in your shirt or on your lap. Give them lots of human interaction.
    And sometimes this doesn't work. Breeds like Rhode Island reds love attention. It takes time. Also, there are chickens who do come running to "chickens!" or another call word. My birds do!
     
  3. gatorshark75

    gatorshark75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you shouldn't feed them anything but starter till they are like 5 months or so they dont tend to take to new tastes till them and they need all the nutrients in starter until they are ready for layin feed also they will start coming to you as you feed them and you shouldn't let them free range till they are grown and use to you and they will come to you they must be pen kept till grown or almost grown
     
  4. Oregonchix

    Oregonchix Out Of The Brooder

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    What about the grit?
     
  5. IChickenGirl

    IChickenGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    What gator said.
    Nothing but starter (except for Crickets, worms, etc) until they can eat the normally feed. Their tiny crops and small bodies cannot function well enough to grind it up.
     
  6. gatorshark75

    gatorshark75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    and get some of the smallest gravel and grit to give them when they get about 2 months old you know the kind like you give birds just make sure its the small size for like finches but as far as eating grits no never until they are eating regular feed and they have to be cooked and cool
     
  7. gatorshark75

    gatorshark75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can actually kill them will almost and food except their feed it will clog up the craw and they will starve to death not to mention a lot of the foods we eat are toxic to animals
     
  8. IChickenGirl

    IChickenGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Not to chickens.
    To chicks, yes, a lot of things are toxic but fully grown chickens don't have much to fear. I would look it up, though.
    Basically, if you died in their coop they would eat you.
    If you're going to give them treats stick with crickets, etc.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    You're right that trying to pick them up will just frighten them. Put a little moistened chick feed, or just chick feed, in your palm and lay your hand on the floor of the brooder. Try to enter from the side as much as possible. Leave your hand lying there, still, and give them time to get over their fear. They will get curious and eventually peck at and walk onto your hand. Eventually, you can pck them up this way, but don't rush it.

    There is grit in chick feed and they don't need anything else for 4 or 5 months. Some people do give them treats in the first few months, but it's certainly not necessary, probably usually not a good idea, and should be very limited. Food pieces can easily be too large while they are so young.
     
  10. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Mother hens have their babies eating range food as soon as 24th hours old for some chicks...after they are a week or two old, As long as you provide grit, you can also offer fruits and vegetables safe for chickens to the chicks.
     

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