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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shalynnbrothers, Feb 9, 2016.
Can 1-3 week old chicks have treats? If so, what kinds of treats do you suggest?
At that age I give mine lettuce or spinach, or clumps of sod with weeds attached to peck at. I usually wait until after 8 weeks before adding anything else. Weather permitting I also get them out on some clean grass for the day.
I have offered them finely chopped spinach- and tomato too, they LOVE tomatoes (must be the inviting red color?).
Also, I know they say NOT to, but after about a week or 10 days I will toss tiny mealworms in there. I have a box of them that live near the brooder box, so I pick out the smaller ones for them. SOOOOOO funny to watch them find one and run around like they just found a stick of GOLD!
Mashed hard boiled egg is always a favorite. Peas are fun to, they all grab a pea and take off running from each other, peeping like mad. I agree too with taking them outside in nice warm weather. I have a little covered pen I put them out in on nice days, they love to scratch in the grass and take their first sun baths.
I guess I'm not the best one for advice, being a newbie, but I just looked at the various lists of toxic/bad foods, avoided those, and made sure that everything I offered was chopped/diced fine. Probably not more than 1/2 to 2/3 cup daily for 21 chicks. So far we've had fresh dill, oregano, garlic, mustard greens, pea shoots, cracked wheat berries, ground pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, alfalfa sprouts, 1/4" live crickets, flightless fruit flies, and small mealworms. The live insects caused a great stir and stimulated them for at least an hour after they'd been all eaten (I worry about brooder boredom).
I started treats at a week old along with chick grit. They've had probiotics and ACV as well. No issues. Actually I had six that didn't grow much the first week, but now they've almost caught back up with the others.
For the sheer entertainment value, I like to give baby chicks meal worms. I do it in the first week, and I've never had any problems.
If you've never seen baby chicks play "keep away" with a worm, be prepared to fall over laughing. One chick grabs the worm and runs, chirping madly, from one end of the brooder to the other, then reverses direction and runs the other way, the others following in hot pursuit.
I call it chick pandemonium.
If you feed treats, you should provide grit. Many of us like to dig up a clump of sod from the yard and place it in the brooder to serve as grit and a grassy treat. It's also a great way to get your chicks "immunized" against local pathogens.
@azygous do you put the chick grit in the standard food for them to pick at (if you are not using sod or in my cause it is under 3' of snow) Or do you put a little in a separate bowl? Thanks for your help
I sprinkle the grit on their chick starter just like I would sprinkle pepper on my food. It doesn't take a lot of it.
I give all my babies scrambled eggs mashed up fine after they are 2 or 3 days old.
I just about peed myself laughing the first time I gave them meal worms and one did this! I called it "quarterbacking".
Speaking of "quarter-backing", wait until you get two chicks playing tug-of-war with a hapless worm, and they're screeching like a ref's whistle going off! I get faint with mirth just thinking about it!
I brood now in my run which has sand of varying sizes. But when I brooded indoors, I liked to place a small tub of sand in there for the chicks to "dirt bathe" in, and it doubled as grit. Chicks know when they need grit, and will find it wherever you leave it for them. Make sure chicks have plenty of fresh clean water at all times since they sometimes overdo the grit thing and they need to flush out the excess.