My Chicks will only eat Chick Starter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mhainz, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. mhainz

    mhainz Just Hatched

    Sep 22, 2016
    Hi there.

    First time chicken daddy here.
    My chicks are about 4 weeks old now and will only eat the Chick Starter crumble.

    I've read of people giving their chicks greens and other "treats" but mine show absolutely no interest in anything else.

    I've even tried chopped raisins, corn, and a couple of juicy worms but they just peck at it once or twice and then show no further interest. One of them even spends the next 5 minutes trying to wipe its beak clean!

    Does anyone have any recommendations for starting to vary their diet a bit?

  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    my chickens love watermelon, but sometimes they just don't care about treats.

    if you really want to vary their diet you could remove the feed, and give them treats, they would eventually eat them.

    chickens won't really eat if they're full
  3. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would not remove their feed-- that (and water) is really all that 4 week old chicks need at this point.
    They will learn to try the "extras" when they are ready.
    When they do start eating foods other than chick starter, you'll need to give small size chick grit free-choice.
    Enjoy your babies!
  4. UKApril

    UKApril Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 6, 2014
    Aylesbury, Bucks, UK
    Mine are not very interested in other foods either, but quickly learnt to enjoy live mealworms. They also like the tiny white grapes in my greenhouse if they are halved.
  5. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    You might try finely chopped grapes and also plain greek yogurt. My new batch has been slow to experiment with new treats. They'll only eat meal worms out of my hand, not on the ground, and only 1 or 7 will eat raisins (the last batch all went nuts for raisins). But they will all eat the yogurt, grapes, and cottage cheese (all in moderation of course). May just take some time for them to realize they're getting "treats"!
  6. I would be happy if mine were not treat monsters....Really though, I only feed treats once or twice a week...5% of daily ration....
    Chickens are on a Monkey see, Monkey do life...If one tries the treat the rest will follow....

  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! They are eating what they need, so be glad they're getting a balanced diet. My chicks are out in the coop annex by four weeks, and I supply grit, and small amounts of grass and weeds from their future free range area. By five to six weeks, they are starting to free range a little bit with the flock. Integration and learning what to eat out there takes time, so don't worry about it. My broody raised chicks are out with mom and the flock by five to ten days of age, and she shows them what to do. Mary
  8. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Chickens can become spoiled by treats and then not want their balanced feed. That's a situation to avoid at any age, ---you are giving them a great start. Don't second guess yourself!
    1 person likes this.
  9. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    They are likely going to be the most interested in live food--mealworms, crickets, red wigglers, etc.. If you are looking for something to help them bond with you, that's what I would use. Other hits were small seeds such as flax or sesame. Until I had adults to teach them about ranging and treats, I would sprinkle flax seeds on any new foods to get them interested in it.
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    The Science Of Feeding Grit to Poultry
    Check post number 4 in this thread. The feeding schedule for different sizes of grit at different ages is on page 2 of the PDF. I get my Gran-I-Grit at Agway. No matter the product name, the right size grit at the right age is what is important to exercise and help keep the gizzard healthy. .

    The chick feed is a balanced diet for the babies. Don't sweat the small stuff. Give them their chick feed and chick size grit to excercize their gizzards . Grit helps them grow large, healthy gizzards to better process feed when they are grown. That can equate to as much as 20% more eggs ! If your chicks are health and growing well count yourself blessed! if you want to, you can add extra nutrition by adding Bovidr Labs Poultry Nutri-Drench to their water. Make the water look like very weak tea. I love the stuff.. Grows great robust chicks. Helps jumpstart their immunity and gives them that extra bit of nutrition. I get my Drench at Tractor Supply Company. It's all natural. Concentrated, just get he smallest bottle.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016

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