Is It Wierd That My Pullets Don't Want Treats?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Laurajean, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I have 7 Bantams, 5 of which are Silkies, and one Cochin and a Mille Fleur D'Uccle. They are just over 8 weeks old now, and I've tried several times to give them treats and they just aren't interested. I'll throw them various tidbits, produce, noodles, etc., and they run over to it as though it's appealing, then peck at it once and walk away. They don't eat any of it, with the exception of scratch which they love. Is this odd? Has this happened to anyone else? Is there something in particular I should try or should I just not give them treats if they aren't interested?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010

  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Western MA
    Try scrambled or boiled eggs... or cooked oatmeal or cooked grits...
    I bet they'll go nuts for the grits...
    You could try something "alive"... that will get their attention. Something like mealworms or small crickets...
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  3. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I tried scrambled eggs a couple of weeks ago to no avail, but haven't tried it lately. Hadn't thought of grits.
     
  4. mylittlechickpea

    mylittlechickpea Songster

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    Chickpea loves scrambled eggs! With a spoonful of corn and a torn up leaf of lettuce and some grated carrot all thrown into the frying pan [​IMG] She is one spoilt chick [​IMG]
     

  5. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

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    It took awhile for my birds to warm up to the idea of treats last year. If I gave them anything other than their starter, they seemed to be certain that I was trying to kill them. They would bunch up in a group as far away as possible from whatever treat I was attempting to give them, and give me the stink-eye. How tiny baby chicks know how to give that particular look, I do not know, but they got the message across. With time, and repeated attempts, they began to think there might be some value to what was offered. Now they keep a lookout, with her eye trained keenly on our back door. The moment one of us makes any move to come outside, the rest of the flock is alerted, and they all run and pace back and forth along the side of the run nearest to the door. They have learned to completely embrace the concept of treats. (Which is not to say that the previously unknown treat item won't cause a spontaneous eruption of stink-eye such as with cantaloupe seeds/innards yesterday, but generally they come to see the wisdom of the offerings.) Generally.[​IMG]
     
  6. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Mine loved cooked eggs and mealworms at that age, but they didn't take any other treats else until they hit 10 weeks.
     
  7. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Just an update:
    I've tried all the above suggestions and many other things. Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, yogurt, oatmeal, noodles, you name it. They LOVE scratch, and that's it. That and they eat their regular feed of course, but they don't want any treats I offer them. Some things like lettuce or noodles they will grab from me with a split second of excitement, and then immediately drop it and ignore it. What gives!?!
     

  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Mine did that too...
    I think it will pass when they get older.. maybe...
    just keep trying different things... and leave it in there with them for a while too.. so they get used to seeing it in their pen...
    also..put it in their regular food bowl... so they associate it with food....
    Or maybe you'll just have picky chickens.. [​IMG]
     
  9. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Songster

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    I think it's a totally normal thing, mine have exhibited the exact same behavior with unfamiliar treats. If you think about it, it's a lot like little kids wanting to eat only a limited number of familiar foods. Makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint - better to stick with the stuff you know and only try a little bit of something new, in case it's poisonous.

    I've had excellent luck giving the new thing to them several times in a row, combined with things they love. I had a ton of frozen green beans left over from last year's garden, and thought the chickens would love them in the heat. The chickens gave me the old stink-eye and wouldn't touch them, but i kept putting them out anyway. I'd throw some scratch on top for them to peck at, and one day put a spoonful of yogurt on top of them. I went back out to find the entire block of green beans gone an hour later, and now they are a favorite treat. (My chicks hated yogurt the first few times I offered it, for what it's worth).

    There were a few things my chickens went crazy for the first time - scrambled egg yolks, crickets, cheddar cheese, milk, cooked salmon. Kind of seemed like they were hard-wired to like those things. If you can find something they like, try mixing that with new foods to introduce them - i.e. try mixing yogurt with some scratch. I think eventually they'll trust you to lead them to reliable food sources [​IMG]
     

  10. kla37

    kla37 Songster

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    We let our chicks eat feed from our hands from the first week, and they at least try everything we give them. Bugs, in general, are always a big hit.
     

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