Indroducing food other than chick starter feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alisachickies, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. alisachickies

    alisachickies Just Hatched

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    I'm trying to get an idea when I can start introducing foods other than their chick starter feed, I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on this. I can't seem to find a thread on this topic. I realize when I do they'll need chick grit, which I have. I've offered them yogurt mixed with their crumbles and they didn't touch it! I've read that giving them a hand full of pulled up weeds with dirt attached is fun for them but it's pouring rain here so the soil is so muddy! [​IMG]

    Here's my gals. Lady Glitter Sparkles (Barred Rock), Sunflower (ameraucana), Goldie Hawn (golden laced Wyandotte) & Chick-a-dee (brahma) [​IMG]
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Chick starter feed is ideal for young chicks. They will flourish on this feed alone. Personally, I would not introduce any other food until they are at least a couple of weeks old.
     
  3. alisachickies

    alisachickies Just Hatched

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    Which they are a couple weeks old now so typically what would you introduce? (The pic above was taken 2 weeks ago)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I don't add anything - proprietary feeds gives them a balanced diet. Once in the grow-out pen (4-6 weeks old), they get daily supervised foraging time in the garden, when they can munch on whatever they feel like. Many other members do provide additional "treats" and as long as they do not constitute more than 10% of total daily intake then thats fine. Those who do give additional foods are best placed to advise on what they give their birds.
     
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  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When a broody hen hatches her chicks and brings them off the nest, one of the first things she does is take them to a patch of dirt and teach them to eat stuff from there. Part of what they are pecking at is small rocks they can use as grit. They are also eating some partially decayed plant matter which has nutritional benefit. Of course, if you have chick feed available she’ll see that they eat that too. Within a couple of days she has them out eating stuff in the grass, bits of green stuff as well as things in the ground. If she catches a creepy crawly she’ll rip that apart for them. My broody hens usually keep their chicks in the coop where I provide food and water the first couple of days but after that they normally spend most of the day foraging for food. She will take them to the chick feed some also. Basically by a couple of days after hatch she is feeding them all kinds of stuff other than their regular feed. That’s when they can start to eat other things.

    Just because you offer them something that people on here tell you they will love doesn’t mean they will immediately devour it. My adult chickens will often turn up their noses at things considered great treats by a lot of people on here, cabbage for example. I grow a lot of things in my garden, my adult chickens prefer chard, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower plants over cabbage. They will eventually eat the cabbage leaves, at least most of the time, but they much prefer other things.

    Sometimes when I toss stuff in the run for the adults, they just ignore it. Sometimes they initially ignore it but if I leave it there, they eventually eat it. Sometimes all it takes is one chicken to actually start to eat it for the others to come swarming over to devour it. So be patient. Keep offering the stuff and eventually one will probably try it. After that it will be a great treat. It’s not what you are offering, it’s whether one of them can work up the courage to actually try it. Your chicks do not have a broody hen to tell them what to eat, they have to work that out for themselves.

    One time I gathered a yogurt cup full of corn ear worms when I was harvesting corn for canning. I dumped those worms on a bare patch of ground near a bunch of about fifteen 10-week-old chicks that had been free ranging for a couple of weeks. Those chicks very slowly and cautiously started sneaking up on those worms. A worm moved! Run away!!! Run away!!! This repeated four or five times before a bold young cockerel actually got close enough to grab one of those worms. That’s all it took, that pile of worms was gone in just a few seconds. Sometimes chick TV is better than anything you can see on cable, satellite, or antenna.

    So just be patient. Them being slow to eat new things doesn’t mean they are weird or that anything is wrong with them, it means they ae being normal chicks.
     
  6. peeper89

    peeper89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    try diffrent things to find what they like u can give somthing like apple to pick at or cukes they need chickgrit too so put that in their pin a little bit of vegs is ok as long as they have chick feed all times to
     

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