When can you start giving chicks vegetables, scratch etc??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FrenchToast, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

    Jan 10, 2010
    UP North WI
    I have 3 week old EE and EE crosses that are doing great on their growing feed but I would like to give them some veggies etc.
    At what age can you do this and what do you give? I don't want to throw their regular diet off kilter by adding things.

  2. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    If I recall correctly its three weeks. But give only as treat i.e. small amounts. I chopped up spinach, lettuce, snow pea pods etc in the blender so they are in tiny pieces.
  3. luvzmychickens

    luvzmychickens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2010
    And only give them one new food at a time, they may be alergic, and have a bad reaction. If possible let them run around (under VERY close watch) they will absoulutly LOVE all the bugs [​IMG] If you do take them out make sure someone is with them at all times, a hawlk or some other preditor might think there an easy snack. [​IMG]
  4. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2010
    So the moth that made the fatal mistake of checking out the heat lamp was fair game?
    there was a riot going on one had the moth, the others wanted it BAD, and it was almost too big to be swallowed. (I got the wings, she got the body)
    Mine are just over two weeks and my first chicks.
  5. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    I brought a pair of five day old Black Jersey Giant chicks home today, and one of the first things they ate was the pinch of corn grits (polenta) I put down with a pinch of fine sand. The are pecking at it periodically, along with their chick crumbles and lots of water. As long as they have some grit, you can introduce appropriately sized treats after the first week or so, after they finish absorbing their yolk.

    At three weeks you can probably start them on a commercial chick scratch mix. The one I get is hulled red and white millet, cracked corn and sunflower seeds, augmented with a little mineral oil. It is ground to a smaller size for the chicks to handle, but make sure they always have access to a source of grit.

    Last, keep an eye on their poop. As long as you are getting good "through-put", feed 'em!

  6. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    No one told my broody not to let the chicks have her cabbage this morning. They are 2 days old. Momma knows best and they are all still just FINE. Screaming their fool heads off right now actually because I gave them scrambled eggs a few minutes ago. Just make sure you have grit available.
  7. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    They can have tiny cut up grass from day one. Learned this from my dear friend who has been doing it all her life. Just be sure it isn't sprayed with anything yucky, and go for soft new grass vs. old tough stuff.

    Chicks never had a problem with it, and never had pasty behinds either.
  8. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    I forget to mention yogurt....start them on it any time, and just give them as much as they can eat in about ten minutes, then take the rest up.

    My RIRs get about two tablespoons full every morning, while I fill the feeder, and the live cultures are supposed to be particularly good for a chicken's digestive system. Just don't overdo it and give them too much, or they will get the scoots...

  9. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

    Jan 10, 2010
    UP North WI
    Quote:What size grit for the chicks? I can only find the medium size at the local feed store.
    Shouldn't they have the fine?
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    You can start veggies or finely cracked grain from as soon as they feel the urge to eat.

    For myself though I wait until they are about a week old. After they've been eating starter for a week I'll know if I have any problem chicks. Ordinarily I do not so I give them a small amount of finely chopped green feed, typically cabbage. They won't eat much of it at first as chickens are often suspicious of new things in their box. Sooner or later one of them will become curious enough to try it and as soon as they realize that it's good to eat they'll all join in. Each day I'll give them only as much as they can clean up in about fifteen minutes. After a week of chopping it finely I'll begin to chop it more coarsely. Over a couple of weeks I'll be to the pont I can start putting it in whole. They learn how to tear off pieces small enough to swallow.

    As for scratch I usually use rolled oats in the brooder. Easy for them to eat and ready to use right out of the box. Every other day I sprinkle some over their bedding to encourage them to keep it turned up and fluffy. Again only as much as they can clean up in about fifteen minutes or so. You want them to get most of their nutrition from the starter feed, not the goody treats.


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