Naughty baby chicks stole treats.

Woods-Witch

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
16
1
22
Central California
Hello everyone. I have some questions about treats for my chicks.

I live an hour outside of town and only go a few times a month so I'm restricted to what I have on hand at the moment. I did a little online research and scoured my cupboard. I put black oil sunflower seeds, plain raw oatmeal and chopped walnuts (no shells) in my food processor, pulverized it to crumbles and offered it to my five-week old chicks. They went insane for it the first time they got it (last week). They especially liked the walnut.

The second time (today), I mixed in some dirt from outside to serve as grit and my little one-week old chicks got a hold of some. I had them out in the coop for some exercise in the sunshine with the big chicks, turned my back for a second and three of the one-weekers (the Delawares) had snuck under my chair, tipped the treat bowl and were gobbling it down right out of the dirt :rolleyes: I hope this won't hurt them!

I never intended to give treats to them so young. They seem fine and aren't acting any differently. Will this be okay for them? If so, would it be bad to give them more of it on occasion or should I wait until they're older? I'm probably going to town this week and am planning on getting some plain yogurt and apple cider vinegar because one of the Delawares has mild pasty butt that I've been washing off regularly. He/she is otherwise healthy. I'm concerned that this treat mix might make it worse though ..? They didn't have the treats for long but were wolfing it down like it was going out of style.

Thanks for any advice!

-Woods Witch
 

Malibu99

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
5,734
125
268
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Just keep an eye on them to make sure they're eating their chick feed and that they're getting some grit so they don't have crop issues from the treats. It shouldn't hurt them :)
 
Last edited:

pdirt

Songster
6 Years
May 11, 2013
1,611
206
198
Eastern WA
Actually, eating out of the dirt is normal for them. It's NOT normal to put their food in a dish. Of course, it's not normal to keep them confined in one place, I imagine in the wild they tended to roam around a bit. They'll be fine. In fact, getting some of the local microflora from the ground into their guts will be a good thing...help build immunity. If any birds get sick (unlikely), beef up on a probiotic like yogurt and if they continue to be sick they may simply have poor genetics and are probably best to be culled. But I wouldn't worry about any of that because chances are they will be perfectly fine and healthy.

As for pasty butt, sorry I can't help much. We had one chick last year that i think may have had it and I think all I did was clean his little bum and feed a little yogurt mixed with feed (of which all the chicks ate some). He was the runt of the bunch but turned out to be a dandy little silky rooster.

A lot of folks are big fans of ACV. I'm not. Not that i think it's bad stuff, I do think it has some health benefits. But it is an acid...and if I am going to give my birds an acid (you CAN give too much acid) it is going to be something with probiotic bacteria in it, like yogurt, kefir or live buttermilk. We ferment our chicken (and chick's) feed so that covers both our acid and probiotic needs.
 

Malibu99

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
5,734
125
268
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Be careful with yogurt/dairy; chickens lack the enzyme needed to process dairy. Small amounts are fine but seeing that chickens don't nurse their young, they don't have the enzyme. :)
 

pdirt

Songster
6 Years
May 11, 2013
1,611
206
198
Eastern WA
Be careful with yogurt/dairy; chickens lack the enzyme needed to process dairy. Small amounts are fine but seeing that chickens don't nurse their young, they don't have the enzyme. :)

True, but mostly for milk. Fermented dairy such as yogurt and kefir have digested nearly all of the lactose in milk, which is the sugar that chickens lack the enzyme to digest. Not much of an issue once the milk is fermented. Of course, don't go haywire and feed 10 chickens a gallon of yogurt a day. Just mix in a little bit into their feed once a day or once a week or so.
 
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