Treats for the Chicks?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
Colorado Springs
I've heard a lot of people talking about how they gave their chicks snacks. What kind of treats or snacks can you give them? How early can you give them snacks/treats? How often should you give them treats?


(I'm getting 6 white leghorn chicks tomorrow)


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 27, 2009
California Central Coast
I gave my chicks grated hard boiled eggs when they were about 2 weeks old. After that, I gave them a small amount of chopped greens, and put a handful of alfalfa in their brooder each day. They are 9 weeks old now and love lettuce and carrot tops from the garden, worms from the compost bins, and a few kernels of frozen corn (thawed) each day. I've been told that they need some grit to help digest greens. I am careful not to give too many treats because I don't want them to spoil their appetite for the "grower feed" that they need at this age.

Good luck and have fun!


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
Here you go:

Yes, they mostly need the chick feed. Limit treats to no more than 10% of their diet, or what they will eat in 15-20 minutes. Start with live culture yogurt mixed with a little feed (good for their guts) and cooked egg. No grit needed for anything soft like that. They will need grit to grind greens or grains, but be sure it is small, like the sand in your soil (a hunk of dirt and grass is a great treat) if you give treats when they are very small.

They don't really need any treats; that is for our entertainment, and bribery, to train them! That said, I give treats daily, if only a handful of scratch, but mine are not babies.

Lots of folks give earthworms and crickets and the like. They do love them, and will catch them when they can, as they will other bugs, when they are outdoors. (They eat ticks, and nearly wiped out our grasshoppers.) But these bugs can harbor parasites, like intestinal worms. So the chickens will expose themselves, but you might not want to offer a heavy load while they are small. I believe the mealworms sold as fish bait are supposed to be safe but not sure. You can grow your own mealworms fairly easily, though, and they will be safe.
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10 Years
May 26, 2009
Central PA
Quote:We grew them in science class in middle school. We were studying life cycles and it was the whole egg, pupa, worm thing. I don't remember specifics, just that they lived in a bowl of rolled oats. It was a little gross, but *everything* is gross to a 7th grade girl (except cute boys).


10 Years
May 1, 2009
Yes I would also agree they are very gross, the worms that is!!! I am quite a ways past the point of thinking that the boys are cute!!
I do think my hubby is pretty cute tho!


10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
We've used corn on the cob as a treat. At first, they treated it like an alien life form, but after I broke it in two and pulled off a few kernels, a brave chick tried the kernel, and the race was on. They quickly figured that they could peck at the cob and get quite a treat. I have a plastic chair outside the coop where I like to sit & watch the 'chicken learning curve'.

Egg yolk on a paper plate causes a chick stampede, and is how we trained the chicks into the coop at night - only took 3 nights, and no more chasing and grabbing.

I'm looking forward to suspending some greens in the run and watching. More entertaining than TV!


11 Years
Jun 9, 2008
Aberystwyth, Wales
My chicks are nearly 4 weeks and I have introduced some treats in the last few days with ad lib chick grit. So far I have tried grass, cabbage leaf (no interest at all) and strawberry. We have 2 bales of straw we sit on to watch them and there is often me, my spaniel and 3 ducks all viewing the antics. The other chickens have no interest but the ducks are fascinated!! I am going to try apple today as the big girls love apple.


10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
Harford County Maryland
I buy freeze dried mealworms in the reptile food section of the pet store. They're labeled for use with birds. You can get them cheaper online, but I hate waiting. My chicks have gone from 'oh it's you, again.' to 'Oh thank goodness, it's you, do you have any WORMS lady?' since I started giving them as a treat.

I handfeed them and the chicks love them. I fed mealworms once they were 3-4 weeks old. I started giving them chick grit when I started feeding the worms, just in case.

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