I think I have spoiled my flock.

renelle67

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2015
12
1
26
Hempstead, TX

I thought it was a neat idea to feed my babies worms. As you can see I cut them up so they would be able to eat them. Picture is of my granddaughter feeding them. Now when I go over to her house she says, "Worms, chickens Nanny". Meaning she wants to go feed them.
Anyway, back to the subject... Since I have been feeding them worms (not every day) or meal worms, they will not eat veggies. They are around 5-6 weeks now and still will not eat veggies. Did I just spoil them or should I keep trying with the veggies?
 

Monguire

Songster
5 Years
May 18, 2014
164
59
116
Manassas, VA
Sounds like they have you and your granddaughter pretty well trained!
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When my chooks were babies I'd frequently give treats to get them used to being handled. Some were a hit and others a dud. Depending on how young they are it is very easy to overdo the treats. Do they have access to grit to help grind up the all the non-chicken food (grit isn't needed if ALL they ever eat is commercial feed) they get? It's important that they have a good grit source (either store-bought or a dirt/sandy/gravel area to frequent).

The two treats mine loved were/are dried mealworms and scratch. I give those as infrequently as their training of me will allow. Any veggies you provide younglings will have to be of small enough size (or soft enough) that they'll be able to do something with it. Adults can beak apart huge morsels but chicks would struggle and likely just avoid. Repetition and patience when trying new veggies but be mindful not to dilute their overall nutrition with too much "junk". They certainly won't starve themselves if you slow down on the spoiling...they'll make a GREAT show of how miserable they are and what a horrible caretaker you are not to cater to their every whim but they won't starve.
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Grimm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
71
33
47
I found my girls avoided veggies when they were young. I still offered them and as they grew so did their tastes for new things. I found salad greens to be the first things they really took a liking to.

Keep trying and they well start trying new things. Just think of them as a small child who is a picky eater.
 

renelle67

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2015
12
1
26
Hempstead, TX
The good thing is that I have sandy soil. Plenty of grit there and I also throw in some oyster grit stuff (not sure of the name). Because of the sand, we do not have many worms.

My granddaughters love coming over and that is the first thing they do. Give a cup of meal worms (small container I have in the bag) to the girls. It also, gets the girls to get in their laps, which they love.

If I throw out some greens, how should I give it to them? Shred, whole leaf? They are getting pretty big. Big enough where they can/will eat a whole earthworm.
 

renelle67

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2015
12
1
26
Hempstead, TX
Training them to come to me when I called them was why I started cutting up the worms to start with.

I can not let them free range until they get full grown because my Yorkies want to eat them. Well 2 do and the mom just wants to lick their butt. The cat sure does love watching them also.
 

Grimm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
71
33
47
If I throw out some greens, how should I give it to them? Shred, whole leaf? They are getting pretty big. Big enough where they can/will eat a whole earthworm.

I just toss some baby greens in the run and they will have at it. When I do give them larger greens I give them to them as close to fresh from the garden as possible. I do quarter cabbage since there are only 3 hens in the coop right now. They make quick work of the quarter head and shred it all over the run as they eat.

Today I gave them kale. I made soup last night and cut the pithy veins from the leaves. This was added to the hens' run with the other greens and veggies.
 

Grimm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
71
33
47
Training them to come to me when I called them was why I started cutting up the worms to start with.

I can not let them free range until they get full grown because my Yorkies want to eat them. Well 2 do and the mom just wants to lick their butt. The cat sure does love watching them also.

I use the coffee can method of training. I keep dried meal worms or black oil sunflower seeds in a coffee can. I shake it when I want them to come to me and offer the treats. This way if my Roo or DH need to call the girls they can without worry they will be ignored.

I can relate to the dogs wanting to eat the chickens. My 2 sporgis want to eat them. At least when they are chicks. The dogs are bird dogs so that could be part of it. With the 3 hens in the coop/run the dogs want to chase them. They are getting use to the hens in the run and my 'Mama' has been running at the wire of the run with a chest bump to stand up to the dogs when they come to sniff.
 

renelle67

In the Brooder
Apr 25, 2015
12
1
26
Hempstead, TX
My mom's chicken (rescue Easter chic) and her cat have "spats". Mom will throw down a piece of cheese and a pizza bone (that's what we call the crusts. "throw bones to the animals") and Ethel will steal the cheese from the cat and then the cat will steal it back from the chicken. The cat will actually hold up his paw to tell her to stop and Ethel goes back to pecking at the pizza bone.
 

Grimm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
71
33
47
Our cats are indoor only so the only time they got to see the chickens was when they were in the brooder before we moved it to the basement. My DH built it so the cats could sit on the lid and watch the chicks without fear of them getting into it and killing the fluffybutts. They lost interest once the hens were 5 weeks.
 

MagicPidge

Chirping
May 19, 2015
284
17
61
ACT
I know a time when my chickens stopped eating chicken food. It was when a friend and I bought one of those huge Costco packs of Scotch fillet. Unfortunately the steaks were quite fatty so, not wanting to waste, we gave the chickens some of the scraps (okay... we also did this to see if they liked steak. The more you know!) As this was a Costco pack we're talking about, they got fed steak every day for 4-5 days. After that, the chickens would sulk and barely peck at their food (layer pellet) when it was feeding time. Took them a while to grow out of that.

I still maintain it was impossible to say no to those faces.
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Sounds like your chickens have you trained like mine had! Be scared
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