How old before you give your chicks treats?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by auntbee, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. auntbee

    auntbee In the Brooder

    Jul 14, 2008
    We just got new chicks last week, our first ever batch [​IMG] . They are 4 days old now and I came home today to find dh giving them little pieces of shrimp [​IMG] I took them out (but boy did they like fighting over it!) because I was thinking that they are too young. When are they old enough to get treats? When are they old enough to run around in the grass? I'm assuming they would find things to eat in the grass, so would we need to give them grit then? Thanks!
  2. Chicken_Lover4567

    Chicken_Lover4567 Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Central Texas
    My chicks turned 5 days-old today, (also my first batch). It's so hot here right now, that we let them chase each other and free roam in the chicken run. We tried to give them watermelon, but they didn't eat any. I still give them grit, small amounts. Hope this helps.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I started treats on the early side, about 2 weeks old. Simple easy to digest things like hard boiled eggs and yogurt. Once you start giving treats or foods other than their starter you should start grit. One word of caution, chicks will eat grit like it's candy and they only need a little. Now that my chickens are 15 weeks old and free-ranging I no longer give them grit. They get plenty out in our driveway. Also, due to the extreme heat I'm limiting the amount of treats I give them to a couple of times a week. They are not eating alot due to the heat and I want what they do feel like eating to be their grower feed.
  4. We gave our ladies treats when they moved into their coop full time at 4 weeks. We have pretty much kept the summer treats to earthworms from the compost pile, bugs that I pick off from my vegtable garden, garden greens like bean leaves, lettuce, swiss chard and crabgrass (which they LOVE - who knew?) [​IMG]

    I'm actually looking forward to finding a hornworm on my tomatoes because they will make short work of it!

  5. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I'd say give them some grit and go for it. A mother hen would already be introducing them to insects, why no shrimp? They are, after all, the bugs of the ocean.

    As for grit, I bought a box of canary/parakeet grit when my chicks were that age. You'd think I'd given them the bestest treat ev-er.

    My French host family when I was on exchange used to give their hens the shrimps' shells. Free calcium!
  6. krjwaj

    krjwaj Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Apex, NC
    Our chicks are 5 weeks and we started giving just a bit of plain yogurt at 4 weeks.
    Now they also enjoy (in small quantities) tomato, watermelon, spaghetti. We crush eggshells for their grit.
    Oh, and they LOVE catching beetles and bugs![​IMG]
  7. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

    Jul 15, 2008
    I've been tossing Japanese Beetles into my brooder and they are aggressive towards those. I started this with grit at 2 weeks. The feathers from the extra protein are noticeable, even with only one bug each per day.
  8. our chicks started catching bugs, mostly moths attracted to their brooder light by a week old... then came the runny poo so we added grit. After that I just started introducing them to flavors one by one each day... the took to cucumbers right away, and strawberries, I often made them strawberry cucumber "salsa" mixed with a touch of yogurt, always chopped small and only what they could eat within 5 minutes. After week 2 they got all kinds of kitchen scraps in small quantities, plus yard bug time a couple hours per week, and the bugs never ended.. soon my husband was catching moths to throw into the cage.. always fun to watch.

    The didn't take to eating yogurt ALONE until 6 weeks or so... and I also just finally gave them sunflower seeds to crack & eat.. they love them. Now we just put watermelon pieces, rinds too, and whatever else in big chunks in a 3 tier wire basket for hanging fruit in your kitchen. They just love it.

    btw.. you must remove the wire basket when the food is gone, or someone might just sleep in it! [​IMG]
  9. ILoveJoe

    ILoveJoe Songster

    Jun 28, 2008
    Northern Kentucky
    I give my soon to be 4 week old chicks lettuce mix from the garden, plaintain, cheerios and they esp. love golden raisins!

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