My chicks won't eat treats

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TheSpiceGirls, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Bay Area, CA
    I've had my chicks for two weeks now. I believe three of them are three weeks old and the fourth is 4 weeks old. (Buff Orpington, Jersey Giant, Ameraucana and a Maran)

    They've had nothing but chick starter thus far because that's what the guy at the store told me to do. But after reading posts about feeding them scrambled eggs being okay, I tried it last night. They all cowered in the corner like I was offering them something toxic. And suddenly, they no longer want to be held. I picked up Pumpkin and offered her some egg and she flew off my lap, over the top of the brooder and landed right in the corner with her sisters. I've seen them test their tiny wings but I had no idea they could fly so well already. Made sure to put that cover on the brooder last night.

    So I'm feeling very sad this morning. My chicks no longer want to be held and are so used to their chick feed that they don't recognize a treat when I put it right in front of them. Any suggestions?

    It's suppose to be quite nice this weekend so I was planning on taking them outside to their run for the first time and letting them spend a little time out there. I'll stay with them and if they look frightened or cold, we'll go back into the brooder. Maybe we'll try some more scrambled egg outside and the new environment will make them more adventurous?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Chicks are scared of every new thing in their world, treats included. Your one girl probably freaked out not because you were holding her, but because she was afraid you were going to do something to her with that "evil" piece of scrambled egg.
    Leave the treats in there with them for awhile and back off. Sooner or later one brave soul will finally get up the nerve to try it. The other chicks, seeing that the brave one hasn't died a horrible death, will also get up the nerve.
    Once you get them eating one treat, try to always offer the treats in the same bowl, preferably a brightly colored one. They'll come to recognize that bowl as holding yummy things.
     
  3. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    That's good advice. I did leave the plate in the brooder for about an hour and did catch them walking all over the eggs. I didn't see any evidence that they had tried any of it. I eventually took it out because I didn't want it to go bad and THEN have them decide to eat them and get sick. I'm going to take them outside this weekend and maybe we'll try some more then.
     
  4. schmije

    schmije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try sprinkling some of their chick feed on the treat. When they eat the feed, they'll accidentally eat some of the treat, and they'll get excited at how yummy it is. Have you tried feeding them chick feed from your hand? If they'll eat it from you, you can try holding the treat. The first chicks to try treats at my house are usually the ones that associate my hands with their feed. It doesn't take long before they make the connection, and they'll go crazy for treats.
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Bay Area, CA
    Yes, I've tried to feed them chick feed from my hands but they just seem so nervous that they are being held and want to go back to their sisters. Ginger, my Buff Orpington, is the smallest of the group and she can make the most noise of all of them combined if I take her out of the brooder. The few photos I have of her have her beak WIDE open cuz she's practically screaming for her sisters.

    I'm sure it's just a phase and we'll grow out of this. But I'm feeling very un-loved this morning.
     
  6. mika4me

    mika4me Out Of The Brooder

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    I think they just need to grow up a little bit. At 4 weeks old the only treats my birds would eat were mealworms. Now at three months they have expanded into cottage cheese, carrot tops, BOSS, parsley, and cracked corn. They don't like to be picked up very much, but they sure are excited to see me and make all sorts of cute little clucks and squeaky noises when I visit them. When I call them, they'll come running and flapping from the other side of the yard. Their personalities are really coming out now that they are older, and they are very curious and engaging. Give it time.
     
  7. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    USA
    Slice up grapes into little pieces!!! They LOVE grapes!! [​IMG]
     
  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My new little ones did the exact same thing the other day!!! I tried yogurt in a small dish and they thought I was going to kill them with that dish. I sprinkled the feed in the yogurt, didn't work either BUT, then I offered it by holding a wooden spoon and they ate it! I have no idea why they would take the yogurt from me while holding it and not out of the dish but that worked for me. Maybe they associated my hand with things must be OK then???? Be prepared...after they were done they flitted around all over the place because they were so excited. It took them a bit to calm down then.
     
  9. dahlia333

    dahlia333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whenever I introduce a new treat to my chickens, I have to put it on top of some yogurt...they've been getting yogurt since they were baby chicks. Otherwise there is no way they will eat it. I put some scratch in the coop not long ago and they would not go back into the coop!! They were afraid of cracked corn!! [​IMG]
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    One other thing to keep in mind when trying to handle young chicks. Avoid reaching for them overhand. Chickens are instinctively fearful of anything that comes at them from above, a la predator style. Reach into their brooder with the back of your hand facing down, as low as possible to avoid spooking them.
     

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