New Chicks- When to Give Treats & How to Make Them Friendly

Teacherpea

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 20, 2013
58
2
43
The new babies are doing good, so far. I'm hoping you all can give me some advice; I have a couple of questions about treats and creating friendly chicks. The girls arrived this past Tuesday, 4/29. When is it okay for me to give them treats and grit? What kind of treats will be okay since they're so little?

As for friendliness, they run away every time I put my hand in the brooder. They get to cheeping and carrying on, and they try to get away from my hand. How do I get them to relax around us? Is it okay for us to be picking them up already, or should we wait till they're a week or so? There's so much to learn!

They are such cuties, and we're so excited to watch them grow!

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speedyfuzzball

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 28, 2013
82
0
41
Long Island, NY
Try leaving your hand in, they might get curious and climb on! That's what I did anyway =)
Make sure they're eating the regular feed first then you can offer hard boiled egg or yogurt. You don't need grit for those two. I like to make a mixture of chick starter, boiled egg yolk and water for them so they're eating chick starter as well as the treat =)
 

SobbaChickens

Songster
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
642
49
128
Kansas
IMO there is no need for treats so soon, they only need their chick starter and you don't want to fill up their bellies with "junk". Leave your hand in the brooder for awhile and every day pick up the chicks and hold them for awhile. It takes time though. Mine didn't start calming down until they were 2.5-3wks old.

Oh and I read a post where someone said to start grit at two weeks (no clue if they were correct or not though).

Katie
 
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DuluthHomestead

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
50
10
33
northern Minnesota
My chicks are about 7-10 days old right now, and we're using sand as bedding, and since the chicks eat the sand it also doubles as grit. They're not too interested in most treats yet, but they LOVE lettuce. I have some of my garden seedlings in the same room as the brooder and happened to have a pot of lettuce, so I've been giving the chicks the tiny, tender leaves (maybe about the size of a fingernail) and one of them will snatch it from my hand and they they all have a rousing game of Chase The Lettuce. They did the same with cucumber cut into paper-thin strips, but I think they like the lettuce better.

I've tried offering yogurt a couple times but they have no interest in it, and ditto banana. They eventually ate a little tomato cube and some tiny carrot shreds I left in there, but they were not big hits with the chick, not like lettuce. Your mileage of course may vary.

Right now my chicks have zero interest in getting picked up, and although I want to snuggle them I am trying to respect their chicken autonomy, and anyway I don't want to force it and make them scared of me. But I do stick my hand in the brooder almost every time I check on them and offer them either chick starter or sand (literally just scooping sand up from the brooder and holding it out to them). I just lay my hand out flat on the floor of the brooder and let them come to me. When they see my hand they usually come running because they know I am the bringer of treats. :)
 

Teacherpea

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 20, 2013
58
2
43
Thank you so much! I will definitely try it the lettuce; I have some growing right now. I tried yogurt, and that was a no-go. I appreciate it!
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DuluthHomestead

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
50
10
33
northern Minnesota
In the 10 days since I last posted in this thread, my chicks have also come to love yogurt mixed with chick starter (I call it chicken granola) and yesterday shredded apples were a huge hit, too.
 

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
In the 10 days since I last posted in this thread, my chicks have also come to love yogurt mixed with chick starter (I call it chicken granola) and yesterday shredded apples were a huge hit, too.
Haha that's what I called it too! It actually looked pretty tasty!
 

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