Topic of the Week - Feeding Treats

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sumi, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Many of us like to give our flocks a little treat now and then, beside their usual feed. So this week I would like to hear you all's thoughts on feeding treats. Specifically:

    - At what age can you start offering chicks treats and how do you go about it?
    - What treats do you give your flock?
    - How much, and how often do you feed treats?
    - What treats should NOT be given to chickens, or given in moderation?
    - What are your flock's favourite treats?


    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    first and foremost before you feed your chicks treats they need to be on grit. A broody hen would offer up tidbits and they would be eating a bit of dirt from the get go. But if they are raised in a brooder....

    Some people put in a clump of dirt with grass attached for them to explore and get flora and fauna. to help their gut...

    Some parakeet grit would be useful to add to their enclosure as well.

    Once they can "chew" their food then tid bits can be offered.

    deb
     
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  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Hello.....

    I am not a big treat giver to my Birds......With Chicks I wait till they are 3 weeks old...I feed medicated starter, a bowl of grit free choice and clear water at all times...:)

    Treats I do toss to my Birds once a week is either 2 apples cut up, some scratch grains, squash, cucumber, or some thawed out peas....

    Things I never feed is spinach, wild bird seed, sunflower seeds, yogurt, garlic, or ACV.....Bread also is never is given....;)


    Cheers!
     
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  4. JarrodnJojo2016

    JarrodnJojo2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had bought the layer pellets instead of the layer crumbles not thinking , and my birds did not eat them good so I found a recipe for gut an crawl health, it was a healthy scoop of layer pellets
    2 finely chopped apples
    one cup of apple cider vinegar
    half a cup of water
    an two healthy dollops of plain yogurt.
    they absolutely loved it ! I would sometimes put in a small scoop of scratch to make them happier!
    also about two months before a show, I will feed my show birds cottage cheese. they love it ! and it makes them bulk up and makes there breast beautiful
     
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    - At what age can you start offering chicks treats and how do you go about it?
    Usually the first week - they get a clump of grass/dandelion/weeds to pick at. Subsequent weeks - I start introducing what I would normally give my adults (a piece of apple, cucumber, etc.) for them to "explore" . Yes, chick grit offered free choice in the brooder.

    - What treats do you give your flock?
    I give a bit of "scratch" - this can be mixed bird seed, corn, Sunflower seed, etc. Most days they get something to work at - hanging apple, cucumber, cabbage, kale, etc. I also make their "daily mash" a "treat" - it's their regular feed (Flock Raiser) mixed with water - then I finely chop some grapes, greens (whatever I have on hand) and add it to the bowl. They essential have feed with a few fruits/veggies mixed in - they love this treat.


    - How much, and how often do you feed treats?
    For scratch - I try to be light handed with it - scattering broadly so they have to hunt for it. In winter - if days are really windy/cold I may give a little more if the flock seems to be staying in the coop - I toss some scratch into the bedding a couple of times a day- this keeps them occupied and they turn over the bedding in the coop for me too[​IMG]

    - What treats should NOT be given to chickens, or given in moderation?
    Find what your flock likes and try to stick with it. I rarely try "new" things to give to my flock. Give things like scratch, BOSS, mealworms, bread, etc., in moderation. We all do love to give treats, but if we aren't careful we can be heavy handed in doling them out. Everything in moderation.

    - What are your flock's favourite treats?
    I've found each bird has a favorite. Kale and grapes top the list for the whole flock. Cucumber and apple come in second. They have to flexible though - I only give grapes if they are on sale. In spring/summer/fall, they usually get what I have growing in the garden - so they may get a variety of squash, beans, tomatoes, fresh corn, Japanese Beetles that I flop in the bucket, berries, etc.
     
  6. oEch0o

    oEch0o Out Of The Brooder

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    At what age do you begin giving treats?-
    Mine start getting treats later in their first week but only certain things like pieces of grass or very small pieces of grape and sometimes termites

    What treats do you give your flock?
    I give mine cooked chicken, pork chop, grass hoppers, crickets, apple, pears, grapes, meal worms (dried or alive), grub worms, fishing worms, sunflower seeds, tomato and probably more that I can't think of

    How much and how often do you feed treats?
    They get mealworms or bird seed about every other day if they come to the front door, and they get other types of treats whenever we have them

    What treats should NOT be giving?
    Everything needs to be given in moderation. With the birdseed/mealworm deal they mostly get birdseed

    What are your flocks favorite treats?
    My chickens love chicken, eggs (both cooked/boiled), mealworms, crickets... mostly living things. To them, movement usually equals food
     
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  7. 2MooreChicks

    2MooreChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard that Apple and tomato seeds are toxic to chickens. I give cut-up apples to my flock if I've made salad for the bearded dragon, but even then it's been cored so no seeds. I don't give them tomatoes at all (because I'm not going to the trouble of seeding a tomato) but I'm sure they would love it if I did. Is this a real thing or am I being paranoid?
     
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  8. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens eat tomatoes all summer. They used to be free range and helped themselves to lots of cherry tomatoes. We had so many, we didn't mind sharing. They then inadvertently planted tomatoes in their run, and the next summer, one survived to become a large plant full of cherry tomatoes, which they were happy to harvest.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  9. chickyandwebby

    chickyandwebby New Egg

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    Can you feed chickens cilantro stems... or is it bad for them?
     
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  10. bajabirdbrain

    bajabirdbrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great thread, thank you all. The one thing we have is a tub of meal worms. We ordered 2 thousand of them online and have been feeding them for a month or so in anticipation of having treats for the girls, very exciting times. BB
     
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