When is it ok to give my chicks table scraps?


9 Years
Jan 21, 2011
Somewhere over the rainbow...
I tried posting this question before but the subject line didn't have a question mark and I got no replies. so I'm trying again!
when can I start giving table scraps to my chicks? and is there anything I should definitely avoid giving them?
I am sure you will get a range of answers.
All I can tell you is what I do. I wouldn't give them scraps until they are about 3 months old. You don't want to give them anything with a strong flavor (onions garlic etc) Although they probably won't eat it anyway.
I have heard you don't want to give them potato peels but I don't remember why. Other than that I give them pretty much anything that is leftover. My chickens love spagetti (spelling) They treat it like little albino worms.
Agreed! About 12 weeks is what I wait! But IF you let them out in the yard that is fine to do when they are feathered out! That is actually the most healthy thing you could do is free range them from 4-6 weeks. I would supervise them when they are young. Everything is a predator to chicks, Snakes, Opossums, Coons, Cats, Dogs, and especially neighbors with BB guns!

why would you not give them scraps until they are at least 4 to 12 weeks old? I dont know anything about chickens so why would meat or veggie scraps from the kitchen be bad for them? Mine were out free range with their momma at a week old. they eat anything and everything. They are now 3 weeks old and when they see me coming they come running at me like crazy little things. I am the shoes that bring food I think. They eat meat, veggies, meal worms, bread for a treat along with chicken feed and scratch tossed once a day. they seem fine. what is going to hurt them at this age?
and I do know raw potato peels are toxic, especially green ones. I dont feed tater skins or onions to anything.
Mrs. Fluffy Puffy :

I give treats to my chicks at 1 day old! Never had one die or have a problem.

Are you providing grit as well? I would love to give our chicks treats. Wondering if I should go steal some sand from the coop for them. LOL
I wait until the chicks are 3 weeks old, then give them grit and Crickets, they love chasing them. But I wouldn't overdue it, just pick something fun as a special once in a while treat, and MAKE SURE THEY HAVE GRIT! Don't feed Potato peels I think it's mostly green ones but I wouldn't chance it,, Citrus, Avacado, or apple seeds, I'm sure there is more, but my pregnancy brain can't remember, but there is a thread about safe treats and not safe treats.
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is the link to the Treats chart. It is a good resource for what is and is not good for your chickens.

That said, if you give your chicks treats that would require "teeth" don't forget to also provide chick grit.

I think the caution is that you don't want the percentage of treats to food get too high. I think I read some where, not over 3% of their diet. You want to make sure that they are getting a balance of what they need to grow and be healthy. If they were with a mama hen, she would probably point out the best things to eat. When they are not, we tend to rely on the feed manufacturers to provide a good balance in the chick starter feed.

Hope that helps. Have fun and good luck.
You would not want to give egg shells to chicks. Their kidneys cannot process the extra calcium. You can give them to your laying pullets and hens, however. They should be rinsed. Some folks bake and crush them and some just crush them. The crushing is so they won't recognize them as eggs and start eating their own.

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