What can I feed my chicks besides chick starter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by The Red Rooster, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    We didn't pick up any chick starter when my hen hatched her eggs [​IMG] We really didn't know when they'd hatch!

    What else can they eat this morning? I feel bad for the little bumkins (as I call them).
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They don't NEED anything until their third day, or maybe a bit longer, but it won't hurt anything to give them something. They can live off the nutrients from the egg for a few days, water and food. Mama does not wait three days to start feeding them. The chicks start to eat as soon as they come off the nest.

    My first thought is corn meal. It gives them good energy and some other nutrients and it is already ground up so they don't need to grind it in their gizzards. Most people have some of that in the pantry.

    If you free range them, you don't have to feed them anything. The hen will find them food. But letting them have some feed does not hurt even then.
  3. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    Quote:Thank you! I did know that they do live off of they're egg, but I thought it was shorter then three days.
  4. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    my grandma used to give them crumbled hard boiled egg.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Crushed Cheerios, grits, corn meal, scrambled eggs. But go get some chick feed. [​IMG]
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't worry about them today. I never give them anything at least the first day. Even if I have starter I always hard boil eggs and crumble the yolks for them. That's what they've been eating for the last 3 weeks.
  7. kittykittykitty

    kittykittykitty Luvin My Chickies

    Jul 5, 2011
    an egg
    If you have meat bird crumbles, they can be feed from day 1.
  8. GobbleGobbleBaaak

    GobbleGobbleBaaak Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    I fed baby rice cereal to a single chick that hatched a few weeks ago. It seemed to work really well and the little chick that was sort of weak and wobbly at first, gained strength and energy very quickly.
    I made it rather watery at first and with each feeding, I made it slightly thicker. It was a bit of a pain to prepare these tiny meals of baby rice cereal but that was all I could think of and all I had at that time. Not sure if anyone else has tried this before or if it's really a good thing to give to baby chicks, but I thought I would share what worked for me [​IMG]
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In the long term, they need fairly high protein content food with certain nutrients, including amino acids. Specific feeds, like corn meal, ground wheat, oatmeal, or that rice do not give the overall balanced diet they need, but it certainly can be used short-term in a pinch. They'll do OK on the 16% Grower from Day 1, but they really do better with a 22% or so chick Starter for the first 4 to 8 weeks.

    If you let them totally free range on good quality forage, which means different grasses and weeds, different grass and weed seeds, places to scratch and find various creepy crawlies, and some flying or hopping insects to chase and catch, they really don't need any additional feed. Mama will take care of that. On a backyard lawn that is only grass and is never allowed to go to seed, the quality of forage does not meet my standards for not supplementing them. It's great for them to have access to that lawn, but they need supplements. It never hurts to supplement free ranging on good quality forage with good quality feed. In the short term, the individual foods are fine, but in the long term, they need the protein, fiber, fats, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that come from a balanced diet.
  10. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    Thank you so much everyone! [​IMG] I won't feed them for today at least.

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