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Picky Chicky

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lonniedeohio, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. lonniedeohio

    lonniedeohio Out Of The Brooder

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    I've given my 3 week old chicks meal worms, sunflower seeds, grapes, lettuce, apples, sprouted sunflower seeds, and yogurt and they won't eat anything except sand and starter feed. Does this seem normal?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  2. IndiesChix

    IndiesChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are the same way, about 2 1/2 weeks. I offer all kinds of treats and they act like they are scared of everything. They will go crazy for meal worms now, at first they wouldn't touch them, I just kept trying, I sprinkle them all over the brooder and they love to scratch for them. Now every time they see me the want
    More. They still won't eat any other treats I offer.
     
  3. lonniedeohio

    lonniedeohio Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll keep trying then. Just seems so weird for them to not eat the natural stuff and go for the pellets.
     
  4. YULickenthat

    YULickenthat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2015
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    I just started trying (literally 5 minutes ago) and they don't show much interest at all either. A couple of them took a piece of scrambled egg but otherwise didn't care for their "treats". They are a little over a week and a week and a half old. All I tried was the scrambled egg and a spoon full of yogurt (separately of course) because those foods are supposed to be easily digestible at this early age. Maybe they will be more enthusiastic as they get older?!?!
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    To be honest there's no real reason to be feeding these treats at this young of age.
    All of these (with the exception of the meal worms) are low protein treat, these chicks are growing and need the proteins also (with the exception of the meal worms and yogurt) these treat are fibrous and hard for young birds to digest.

    My advice would be cut out the treats until there older, I don't feed any treats until there around half grown and even then the treats are only about 2 to 5% of there diet. Once they are mature and laying then you can offer treats at 10% of there diet.

    Quote: There regular chick/chicken feed is more natural and healthier for them than the treats.

    Remember chickens are really not a domesticated animal, there are no wild chickens, man "created" the chicken by breeding and cross breeding jungle fowl so after some odd thousands of years of humans taking care of them and a hundred years or so of eating a ground processed feed it is more natural for them to eat a ground processed feed than a bunch of whole seed, greens, fruits and vegetables.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's normal. They're still a bit young for treats (in my opinion). I started with finely shredded cheese as an occasional treat at around 3 weeks though.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. lonniedeohio

    lonniedeohio Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2015
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    My Coop
    Thanks Chris, I will heed your advise on the treats. I honestly figured with the sand to use as grit they would be able to handle the fibrous treats. The protein I didn't think was an issue because with the exception of the lettuce and fruit, they all provided protein and it was going to be a treat not a supplemented food source. But I'm sure I am being a little too anxious to give them treats because I see it as a source of bonding. I'll hold off till they are older. What do you consider to be half grown? I read that 8 weeks is time to put them outside and something like 6 months they could start laying. So would you say 3 months is a good time to start treating them? Thank you for any info.
     
  8. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chick grit might be a better choice than sand.
     
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Even adult birds have a hard time digesting fiber, there system isn't designed for it.
    Actually out of all the treat that you listed the only thing that has a good protein amount is the meal worms, all the rest is fairly low compared to there chick starter.

    I'll give you a good example of what I'm talking about.
    Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) is only around 16% protein and a good Chick Starter is around 20% + protein. Now if a chicks eats half its intake chick starter and half BOSS then it protein intake is only about 18%, that is a big difference.

    Depending on breed, the feed that your feeding, season and where you got the birds,,, I would say half grown would be between 3 and 8 months. As for laying, they will start laying when they are mature and for the most part done growing, that could be (again depending on breed, the feed that your feeding, season and where you got the birds) from 6 month to a little over a year.

    If you want to offer a bit of a treat now, you could offer them a bit of Hard Boiled Egg.
    I would say 1/2 a hard boiled egg per 6 chicks once a week.
    I wouldn't feed other treats until there at least 3 months old.
     
  10. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, your chicks are totally normal. They don't have a mamma hen telling them "This is good!", so they're naturally wary of anything new. Heck, even my full grown chickens sometimes need coaxing into trying new things. It took a week before they would even look at sunflower seeds. Now they'll climb up my legs for it.

    I got my chicks to try new things by mixing it with some of their food. Sprinkle feed on top of yogurt. Put quartered grapes and some feed in your hand... Cut a strawberry in half and dip it in the feed so it sticks.

    Soon they'll be excited to see anything that comes from your hand.

    I totally agree that you should not over do treats. However, giving them a couple small things won't dramatically change their protein intake. Besides, it's totally fun for both the humans and the chicks!

    YOGURT!!!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015

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