When is it time to eat real food?


11 Years
Dec 15, 2008
Hi all,

I have 8 chicks (4 Americana, 3 Barred Rock, 1 Leghorn) that are now about 5 weeks old. I still feed them chick start every day as thier main diet and my understanding is that I should keep doing that until 12 weeks.

The chicks have been showing a lot of interest in eating the grass, bugs etc so should I start to offer them anything else to eat yet?

If no, when?



10 Years
May 25, 2009
Southwestern, In
Givem' treats! It's ok. I've been giving ours treats since like day 2. Just don't go overboard with all the "candy" make sure you give them chick grit when you give treats. It'll help them grind up al the goodies! Try plain yogurt, I mix it with their chick start. They go nuts! They also enjoy strawberries (mashed with a bit of sugar sprinkled on it) blueberries, corn on the cob, cooked oatmeal, grass, and my husband gives them scratch grains in the yard... but don't let them fill up on it or they won't eat their starter food. I hope this helps! Oh, try giving them meal worms! not earth worms, they contain parisites. They''ll give you a good laugh with the meal worms! Chick football with meal worms.! It's cute! Enjoy!
And WELCOME TO BACKYARD CHICKEN! You'll love it here! feel free to contact me anytime with questions, I'd be more than happy to help:)
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10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
Douglas, AK
from AK!

5 weeks is plenty old enough for a few treats. I give my the treats by hand, at least for now-it's starting to smart a bit when they peck. Even the shyer ones eat from my hand. Chopped grapes, cooked eggs, chopped strawberries, an entire clump of grass (include the dirt). If the food isn't soft (like the egg) make sure you have grit. They love the grit almost as much as the treats. Mine HATE yogurt but to build up they little selves, I included a few spoonfuls in their mash, and that they ate.

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