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When can I start feeding chicks treats like seeds, meal worms, etc.?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lbartsch, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. lbartsch

    lbartsch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 3, 2011
    Hello everyone!

    What age s is ok to start giving chicks treats and what treats to do you recommend?

    Thanks!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. blkwdw

    blkwdw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    whenever you want, I started mine on mealworms and bugs early ( < 1 week) but make sure you also offer grit...sand works great and they can dust bath in it. They also LOVE watermelon.
     
  3. OrphanNanny

    OrphanNanny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been digging up clumps of tall grass complete with the dirt and bugs and just putting it into a metal feed pan...the chicks, 2 weeks and 4 weeks old, LOVE nibbling, scratching, digging and rolling in it...SO FUN to watch them pretend to be big chickens [​IMG]
     
  4. 7&8

    7&8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should wait for others to chime in, but... What I know is that one of my broodies had her chicks outside foraging when they were two days old. They were eating some pretty good sized worms right away. And whatever else they could scratch up. The chicks were mixed right in with older birds right from the start, and came in contact with scratch (I feed wild bird seed for scratch). They left what was too big for them, but ate smaller seeds like millet. The most important thing is that chicks have access to some form of grit, and are actually getting it into their systems. Chickens need grit in their crops to grind up seeds and grains. Search "grit" and you will find plenty of thoughtful discussion on types of grit to offer your chicks. Depending on what part of the country you are in, your local feed store will sell some form of appropriate grit. It has been said on the forums here - stay away from pet bird type grit; it's not appropriate for chickens.

    As far as treats go, meal worms are a great source of protein. For protein, I feed each batch of chicks (6-8/ batch) one hard boiled egg yolk morning and night. Apart from that, I don't give treats because I want them to be hungry for and eating nutritionally balanced feed. They are growing like weeds, and personally, I believe they need to be eating the right stuff, not "junk" food. [​IMG] So, whatever "treats" you decide on, be it mealworms or ?, I offer that you feed sparingly. [​IMG]

    Enjoy your chickies! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I 2nd the above poster....for a treat, I actually give my chicks, watered chick starter...meaning I mix water with it and make it a mash...they go crazy for it! I also give grapes cut up...this is just to really get them used to my hands in the cage...the bigger chickens get kitchen scraps, lettuce, squash from the garden, pumpkin etc...make sure it is given sparingly and make it good for them,no added sugar, salt etc...I waited to give mine treats till they were several weeks old...and like I said, the mash is tricking them into thinking they are getting something really yummy!

    Others may disagree, but to each his own, we all have different chicks and different ways..do what works for you...but do offer grit, if they aren't able to get to their own, through free ranging yet.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. lbartsch

    lbartsch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I love the idea of putting dug up clumps of grass in a feed dish. Do I have to give grit if I do that? Seems like they might get it from the dirt that will be with the grass. This is kind of a perfect solution for me because We're digging up all the backyard grass anyway to put in raised planters.
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say no, it should be in the dirt...make sure the grass blades aren't too long, they can get caught up in the crop in a young bird.
     
  8. OrphanNanny

    OrphanNanny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    pretty sure they'd get enough grit from the soil the grass is attatched to so no additional grit should be needed and by leaving the grass in the big clump keeps them from getting too much grass at a time, they kind of just pick off it so just little bits at a time are consumed...I can't wait to hear how your chickies like it, mine just go nuts! [​IMG]
     
  9. lbartsch

    lbartsch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. I made a little pen for them and let them free range out in the grass yesterday and they LOVED it! They stayed out about an hour and pecked at bugs, grass and had a grand time. When I brought them back into the brooder they all layed right down and took a long nap. So cute! I'll take them out today too as soon as it warms up to temp for them. Thanks for all the great advice. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. johnha

    johnha New Egg

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    Hi,

    I realize that this is an older thread.

    I have been raising chickens for three years (three broods). I find that chicks raised with their mother are more likely to eat a wide variety of different types of food. The mother hen will click and tell them what to eat and what not to eat.

    However for those eggs that hatch late and that I raise inside in a brooder, I find that the chicks are very reserved in trying new foods.

    Example, today one of my naturally raised chicks found a beetle that was as long as her head (she/he is 10 days old). She ran to her mother dropping the beetle every six inches for so and the mother hen promptly chopped the beetle into pieces. The indoor late bloomer chicks won't eat new foods such as bananas, watermelon, grapes, etc. No mother hen to tell them that something is good.

    John
     

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