Tips to get chicks to try new food??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by L2fly, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All, I picked up three 2 week old BA chicks from the local feed store on Sunday, who were getting chick mash. I kept them on the same chick mash, and offered some sand which I saw them peck at a little. I offered a little scrambled egg the other day, on a paper plate, which they ignored. I figure the plate was probably scaring them off so I put in in the feeder. The next day it really looked like most of the egg was still there, and they were eating the mash around the egg! Which surprised me because from what I read, scrambled egg is like chick catnip!

    I'm just not sure how to get my girls to start exploring new things... I'm used to dogs, who SMELL the food... do chicks have a good sense of smell? Right now I put a few raisins, a bit of banana, a bit of mushroom, and some cooked spaghetti noodles on the raised brick their food/water is on... no interest. I'll leave it there overnight but don't want it to fall into the shavings and get gross.

    This is frustrating, because I want them to associate me with good things (treats) and be semi-social chickens, but right now they could care less about anything I bring them, I'm just the big thing that makes some noise sometimes and cleans the brooder! Ugh!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Personally, I feed chicks on starter feed only (although scrambled egg is fine). Chickens don't seem to have a great sense of smell, but they are just being wary of new things. Once one chick tries the egg, they'll all dive in.

    I'd advise against giving the treats you mention for 2 reasons. 1. Starter food has all the requisite nutrition for healthy growth - additional treats can create an imbalance nutritionally, and 2. the chicks may not have sufficient grit to process other foods. Here's a link on grit that may help you

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry

    Your chicks will become comfortable with you if you spend lots of time sitting by the brooder and handle them (if you can catch 'em).
     
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  3. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! They aren't hard to catch but don't like being held for long.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Agreed with PP: Giving such treats is not in their best interest. especially the raisins, which would be a choking hazard. As for the other items, they will dilute down the protein of their feed. Not good for chick growth. The best thing you can offer them, in addition to their feed IMO is a plug of sod from an untreated lawn, and try fermenting their feed.

    Chickens are notorious about refusing to try new things "until Mikey has tried it". You might try taking away their feeder, and sprinkling some of the mash on the scrambled egg. (Scrambled egg is high in protein and other good nutrients.) Be sure to supplement with any extras more than 10% of their daily feed amount. A chick would eat about 2 Tsp. total of feed/day in the first few days. I give egg to all of my chicks, as well as fermented chick starter, a plug of sod, and Poultry Nutri Drench.
     
  5. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I guess I just want them to like me, and the best way I know to do that is with food, since I don't have a lot of time to sit with them! I'll concentrate on the scrambled eggs, add some sod, and look up how to ferment feed & the Poultry Drench.

    But, I did provide them some sand of various sizes, mixed with some parakeet grit, and have been trying to get them interested in dried mealworms, which the boldest has been pecking from my fingers. [​IMG]

    Is this a bad idea?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Parakeet grit has oyster shell in it. I'd stick with gravel from your driveway, if that's an option. As long as they have grit, they can have a few mealworms. But... I'd go very easy on them.
     

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