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Toys for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MTchick, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I'm trying to set up my brooder before I get the chicks in a week or two, and it seems like wood shavings and a warming light might be a safe and clean, but boring little world. I've never had chicks before, so I don't know much about their needs. I thought maybe they could use toys (they are babies, after all).

    What are some good, free toys for chicks? So far I've thought up:

    toilet paper or paper towel rolls for running in and out of
    very small cardboard boxes to make little caves
    short untreated 2x4 scraps (to jump on and off of, I would think)

    Are these good toys? Are toys needed? What do you use to make the chick's little brooder world more fun?

    Thanks!

    -MTchick
     
  2. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    Generally, chicks don't really need toys. As long as they're fed, watered and warm, they're happy. But it can make it more interesting for them and you to have some things they can play with and peck at. All the things you mentioned seem fine to me for toys. Keep in mind that anything you put in with them, could likely be eaten/chewed on.

    I have heard of people putting stray bugs in with the chicks for them to eat and chase. Also, I read about someone putting a stray feather in with chicks and they pick it up and run around with it and chase each other to try to get it. Kinda like playing keep away. A small feather or stick that they can pick up and run around would might be good. I would avoid string as they could swallow it and it would block up their system and kill them.
     
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I'd stay away from the toilet paper/paper towel rolls as they could get stuck, they grow sooo fast. I have tried several things with my chicks but only found a few that worked. First I try to use a box for the brooder that is big enough to accomodate another box that's like 8" or so square and 3" or 4" tall which I fill about 2/3 full of loose powdery dirt mixed with sand. They won't use it to begin with but with it in there they get used to it being there. After a week or two (maybe more maybe less depending on the chicks) they will begin playing in it, eating it (it's good chick grit), and even dust bathing. I also get a tree limb that's 3" or 4" thick and put it in there. They love climbing on it. I like to put one end under the light and as they grow they will roost on it and be toasty warm.

    Also, you'll want to put paper towels on top of the shavings for the first several days to a week. New babies don't understand that shavings aren't food and tend to eat them and can get impacted. By putting paper towels on top and sprinkling some chick starter on it they learn what the food is then when you quit using the towels they'll know the difference.

    Have fun with your babies!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Montana
    I like the sandbox idea- seems both natural and fun for the little girls. I already planned to keep some old home improvement rags (no loose threads, I know) over the shavings because I read that they accidentally eat shavings at first. That should keep them safe and comfortable.

    Sounds like the tubes could be a hazard. I'll stick to boxes and different types of perches- no entrapment!

    I set up the brooder last night to test it out. It quickly (less than an hour) got to 120 degrees in there. Good thing I tested it out!!! I need a different heat source for sure.[​IMG]

    -MTchick
     
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Oooo, careful! You don't want baked chick nuggets! [​IMG]
     
  6. Kitsune

    Kitsune Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Manchester - England
    The best thing I have found for chicks is a big chunk of sod, they will eat both the grass and the mud, can get little stones from it for ther gizzard and will enjoy playing king of the hill [​IMG] I used to put a cuddly toy from a charity shop in with them too and they would jump up on that as well.
     
  7. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Wow! This is gread advice! Thank you all and thanks for posting this thread!![​IMG]
     
  8. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    The sod is a great idea!! We re-did our front yard and had several square feet of sod left. The girls LOVED it!! [​IMG]
    Or, before you cut your lawn, take some sissors and cut some grass for the little chickies. I'm sure they will love it.
     
  9. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    I also read in a book that chicks like to peck and play with shiny things. Perhaps a small mirror or reflective ball?
     
  10. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Ridge
    my DH built a chick see-saw, a ramp & a ladder style roost for them. They never really got the hang of the see saw, but they loved the ramp & the roost. We switch to a tree branch by the time they were 4-5 weeks old they were roosting to sleep.
     

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