How old before they can eat something other than mash?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by my three chickens, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. my three chickens

    my three chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2008
    So many questions with my new chicks!

    The current one:
    How old must they be before I can start feeding them things other than mash/crumbles? For instance, I'd like to give them some clover from the garden (delivered to them--it's too cold yet to go outside).

    And... does this mean I should feed them grit? And if so, is there a natural version of grit that I can collect from the garden? The closest feed store to me doesn't sell it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    how old are your girls. they can have layer pellets and grit is just crushed pebble. you can also give oyster shell for calcium. If they free range they pick up the little pebbles in the grass
     
  3. my three chickens

    my three chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    4
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    Jan 13, 2008
    Oh, they're still babies--five days old or so. Still in the brooder, so not picking up pebbles from the dirt yet.

    How long should I wait?
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You can give them a bit of clean sand or dirt from their future run so they can play in that and get some grit, plus, start getting exposure to organisms in their future environment. If you use run sand, don't put too much at one time so you don't overwhelm their systems.

    Treats are fine now, just very tiny quantities as you don't want to over load their systems. I usually start treats as a few grains of rice at like a week old. But not more than maybe a grain a chick till they are older.
     
  5. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    once they get a couple weeks old i have a recipe you can give them to try. if I was a chicken I would eat it
     
  6. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I feed mine scrambled egg from day one, also cooked rice, and shredded cheese - they love all three once they try it and it will be a feeding frenzy after that. Once they are eating that I start on diced up everything else - tomatoes, greens, veggies, fruits. I put them outside on grass at two weeks old if it's at least 70 and sunny.
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I try to wait until 4 weeks on treats so that I know they know the crumbles are the normal feed and what they should be eating. With that said this 2 weeks old bunch of chicks I hatched are growing fast and they are BIG. I have given them meal worms on several occassions to give them plenty of protein. They are eating more than 2 quarts of starter a day and that is 12 chicks. At 4 weeks I will introduce them to boiled egg, cooked rice and homemade yogurt as their treats plus whatever green leafy veggies pieces I might have. As they have plenty of starter feed available I don't worry too much about grit as I sprinkle the starter into their treats.
     
  8. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Miss Prissy is right - it's important that they are also eating the chick starter food. Mine are consuming it faster than I can fill their bowls. I bought some day olds a couple of days ago and a few more today and they are eating me out of house and home - I had to buy large feeders since the little bowls I was using were being emptied like a shark feeding frenzy. So, like Miss Prissy said, as long as I see the newly hatched/day olds eating and drinking their starter food and water - I start adding cooked egg - it's so high in protein and vitamins that I believe it's really good for them.
     

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