Silly chicks are eating (and even fighting over) poop!


Jul 18, 2016
I bought these chicks last week and I guess being that they don't have their mother with them to teach them what to eat and what not to eat, they for some odd reason are very fond of the poop in the feeder (which is the first thing they go for) and they even clean the flooring of the cage by eating up the poop. This is a behavior I just noticed, and it's more obvious being that they're not always interested in eating from the feeder, just from the bottom of the cage. I just thought they found food that was scratched out but no-they find long stuff that dangles from their beaks and they try to grab it from one another! Should I be concerned that they may get sick or something? Is this totally normal?

Little Fuzzy

Jan 16, 2016
Huh, although I've only raised two flocks of chicks this was never a problem with mine. What do you have on the surface of your brooder cage? If you use shavings then you can stir up the poop in the shavings so its not so easily obtainable. Also maybe get some chick vitamins for their water, maybe they are missing some nutrients.


11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Chicken crops can handle a lot of crap. Literally. The crop is like a garbage disposal. It's normal for chicks to eat just about anything they find on the ground. As you mentioned, a broody hen will show chicks what they should be eating, so chicks on their own rely on one another to show the way, which isn't always perfect.

Giving them some vitamins and pro-biotics would be a good idea. I like Poultry Nutri-drench for chicks during the first couple weeks to get them off to a good start.


Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
Southern Oregon
It's totally normal. It actually acts kind of like a species specific pro-biotic. Ingesting feces helps populate their gut with the good bacteria.

You don't want them eating a ton of it, or a sole diet, of course. But a little isn't a scary thing.

And, as you said, they don't have a momma to show them what is good to eat. So, they're on their own as far as tasting things and seeing what's good and what isn't. There's a lot of exploration going on, and of course once one bird gets something, the others have to try to take it away because that becomes the bestest, most desirable treat on the face of the earth ever....just cause the other chick has it.

You can also offer other treats, go give them other things to taste. Soft squishy fruits and veggies are good, if you do much besides that be sure to offer chick grit to help grind up the food.

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