Rolling in dirt or eating scraps

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Excitedchickens, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Excitedchickens

    Excitedchickens Hatching

    Dec 11, 2012
    New chick raising...... My chickens are 5 weeks old, when can we put a box of dirt to roll in? When can I start to give them scraps? I want to keep them organic and do you have any tricks or fun things to give them to eat???? I'm so excited!! lol
  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Songster

    May 6, 2011
    They would love some dirt now! And, as long as you're giving them grit, they can have some scraps. Just be sure to not give them anything on the bad list - citrus, anything poisonous, raw meat, etc.
  3. Catfish267

    Catfish267 Chirping

    Dec 26, 2012
    I Don't Remember
    By 5 weeks they are fine with eating many foods. If you give them something other than chick food you will probably want to give them some grit or small rocks. And I guess they can roll in dirt if they want to!
  4. GreatWhiteAfro

    GreatWhiteAfro Chirping

    Jan 27, 2013
    Casa Grande, Az
    My 5.5 week olds love scraps, especially ramen noodles. As soon as I put mine in the coop/ run they dug up a spot of loose dry dirt and went to town dust bathing, I swear they spent 30 plus minutes playing in the dust!
  5. RonC

    RonC Songster

    Feb 28, 2012
    Mine started trying to dust bathe in the bedding at 2 weeks old. Walked in and did a quick headcount cause something didn't look right. One was missing, found her buried up to her neck in pine shavings.Nothing but her head sticking out looking around.They are old enough to be exposed to dirt. They will pick small rocks out for grit but I would offer it in case they can't find enough in the dirt. Dirt will go everywhere when they dust bathe.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

    When it comes to stuff on the bad list I can't think of much that will kill a chicken other than rock salt. So watch out about where you empty the ice in your ice cream freezer. Raw meat is especially relished by chickens but like with every thing else, use common sense. Too much clean fresh water will kill a chicken quicker than too little clean fresh water.

    My chickens seem to love the astringent oils found in citrus pulp, especially oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits. Waste pulp and peels from citrus processing plants have been shown to promote healthy bacteria in the guts of domestic animals (chickens included) without employing antibiotics indiscriminately. Besides many commercial chicken food contains citrus by products, but do cut the fruits up before feeding them to your birds.

    I even found that chickens love onions but they refuse to peck them. So if you to feed your chickens onion scraps run them through your food processor or first finely dice the onions. Oh yes, chickens also dislike cracking open coconuts so if you want them to eat coconut bust or saw the coconut in half before you feed it to them.

    I am more likely to condemn things like watermelon rinds, pumpkins and other large raw veggies especially those with a thick rind or peel because of the likelihood that they may be trampled into the dirt by dozens of dirty chickens feet and pickup coccidiosis amoeba or maybe a black head infection from the floor of a dirty coop before the veggies are fully consumed. The same thing goes for chickens picking up rocks laying around in the pen instead of eating granite grit free choice. Oh well to each his own.

    Less some of us think that the acid in citrus will result in thin egg shells it just ain't so. In fact raw grapes, apples, and strawberries are more acid that citrus.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013

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