When to introduce other food and what?


In the Brooder
May 18, 2017
Sorry, it's probably been asked before -I did search for an answer....
My chicks are nearly a week old and a constant source of amusement! They attack the chick crumbs like they haven't eaten for days, and I think they are ready for some greens - what else can i give them and when?
Scrambled eggs.

Really! Making cannibals of them at that age! How dare you! :oops:

Crushed boiled eggs are good too. They don't have to be scrambled. Just remove the shells before you crush them.

Hopefully you know about grit for most things and to chop the greens into fairly small pieces. By one week a broody hen would have them out pecking at greens. She would feed them bugs she catches (breaking them up for them if the pieces are too big).

She'd have them pecking at the ground for grit and just dirt. That way they get some minerals plus it starts strengthening their immune system. They are going to have to face whatever may be in your ground anyway when they go from the brooder to the coop/run. In my opinion it's better to have their immune system ready for that. I start feeding them dirt from the run their second day in the brooder.

They can pretty much eat anything adults can eat. They are limited by the size of some things. Their beaks are pretty strong and can do a good job in breaking many things up, but make it easy for them. Table scraps are a good source of treats. They've been cooked so they are usually softer and easier for them to eat. Table scraps can be meat or veggies.

Just remember that the main thing they need to eat is their chick feed. That contains everything they need for a balanced diet. Limit their treats to a small part of their overall diet so you don't mess up their nutritional balance.

Don't be surprised if they don't immediately devour whatever you put in there. They don't have a broody hen to show them what to eat. They may be scared of something new for a while but be patient. Eventually one will get brave enough to try it and that's all it takes. The rest quickly join in.

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