Hello to all. Just wanted to get some opinions as to what snacks my three week old chicks can eat. And if I started to feed them snacks other than the chick grower crumbles would they need chick grit to help digest these new snacks.
I've asked this question before, also, and the responses are quite varied. Some people say absolutely nothing but starter for 16 weeks because of the importance of maintaining nutritional balance.
That said, I mix a little dollop of plain active-culture yogurt in with their crumbles (separate from their feeder) for a treat and they LOVE it.
I gave them a bit of shredded cheese the other day but there was such a commotion with them chasing each other around to steal it that I haven't done that again.
I also have a small box of sand in their brooder which they use for "dust baths" and I was told by a poster here that it suffices as grit, although I'm not sure they need it for either yogurt or cheese.
My feeling is that I would limit the treats and to make sure it didn't interfere with their appetite for their regular food. It would never be a substitute. My main concern would be if any particular food was harmful to them.
We attended a chicken class put on by our local extension. The PhD that spoke at it said treats should be avoided for chicks as they need the nutrition and protein found in chick crumbles until they are 12-16 weeks of age. He also said grit isn't needed, just oyster shell for adult layers. He said if chickens have access to soil, they will find their own grit.
That said, I think people will give their chicks treats. He said moderation is important if you choose to do this, even with mature chickens. If you want lots of eggs from laying hens, they need the nutrition found in feed. He did say that it is good for them (adults) to have some greens, veggies, but not to over do.
My little 2 and 1/2 week old chicks love scrambled or hard boiled eggs. I am going to try some plain yogurt tomorrow and see how they like it as well. I do not give them treats very often but I don't think a little treat is going to hurt them.
Quote:Awwww, let them play keepaway! It eases brooder boredom and it's something they will still do as adults.
Keep the treats down to 10% of their daily intake and IMO they'll be just fine.
No offense to the dudes with the PhDs, but mama hen doesn't read books. Allowed to raise her chicks on her own she will be offering them all kinds of goodies from just a few days old.