July 18, 2012

Safe Treats For Young Chicks

When our chicks turned 3 weeks old we started giving them a few treats. I had to really fight the temptation to give them treats before then. I wanted to do everything I could to keep the chicks healthy from the beginning -include a nutritious diet.     Unless there is a health issue which requires special food they should have nothing but their chick starter feed until at least about 3 weeks old. Starter feed is formulated to be easily digested even by newly hatched chicks.

When those cute fluff-balls look up at you with those sweet little eyes you just want to give them anything that would make them happy!  Avoiding that temptation  gives them a much better start in life…and food should not pose a threat to their health.   

Any treats you give the chicks need to have the peel removed (if possible) and be sliced in very small pieces. Ours love hard-boiled egg yolks (yeah, go figure), figs (we had a tree full of ripe ones), blueberries and strawberries. The little ones can also eat cheerios (no sugar added), bits of cantaloupe and sliced up cucumbers.

Since they are still spending most of their time inside in the brooder I have a shallow dish with small grit available for them when they eat something other than the chick starter feed. Do not leave the grit in the brooder for very long. It is possible for them to eat  way to much grit for they age!

Once the chickens are outside in the coop they will naturally pick up grit, in the form of sand and tiny pebbles from the ground, which aids them in digesting grass, bugs, or treats.
You want your chicks to grow into happy healthy chickens!


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