As baby chicks grow, you should give them treats but these treats need to be healthy and safe for chicks to eat.
Eight of the best baby chick treats are:
- Melon Cubes
- Scratch Grain
All of these make for great treats, and you should make sure that your chicks have them in moderation. Continue reading to learn more.
Eight Best Baby Chick Treats
All kinds of berries are safe for chickens and chicks. Like other treats, keep them fresh and clean. Do not give your chicks berries that contain mold. They can consume overripe fruit, but not moldy fruit.
For larger berries like strawberries, you should cut them down in size. Smaller cubes will be easy for your chicks to eat and safe to consume.
Another benefit of cutting food down to size for your chick is that you can catch any issues with the fruit you didn’t notice before. These could be worms, rotten sections, and other potentially dangerous variations.
2. Melon Cubes
Melon cubes are a good option to keep your chicks refreshed during the summer months. This is a cheap and easy-to-find option for snacking.
Chickens go crazy for all different types of melons. If you want to give melons to your chicks, you need to remove the rind and seeds and cut them down in size.
Carefully remove the over rind of the melon. On watermelons, remove the white part as well. If your chicks are under six weeks of age, you should not give them seeded watermelon chunks.
Seeds could be a choking hazard, and the rind drying up may also be dangerous if your chicks eat them. Adult chicks won’t eat the rind and leave it around, but you should be careful and watch them after giving them whole melons the first time.
Various types of squash can be great for chicks too. Chickens can enjoy butternut squash, pumpkins, and zucchini, to name a few. Pumpkins are very common and can be incredibly affordable if you want to spice things up for your chicks.
However, it would be best if you broke down squash of all kinds before you let your chicks go after them. The meat inside of the squash is hard and can be dangerous for chicks to eat.
If you have very young chicks, you should also consider cooking the squash. It will make the meat softer and easier to consume. Make sure the squash is completely cool so your chicks won’t burn themselves.
Lettuce is an incredible treat for young and adult chicks. They can peck at it to their heart’s content and enjoy their treat. Lettuce is full of water and can be a great way to keep your chicks cool during the summer months.
You should break down the lettuce into leaves or smaller pieces if you want to feed them to your chicks. Adult chicks can peck at a full head, but smaller chicks could hurt themselves on a larger head.
A classic treat for chicks is mealworms. They are excellent treats that make chickens go wild. Additionally, they are like catnip for chickens, and it’s fun for the whole family to watch your chicks go crazy for them.
Mealworms are very popular in chicken treat blends for a reason. They are nutritious and great for enrichment. You can get either live or dried mealworms, and both are safe for chickens of all ages.
However, like other treats, these should be given in moderation. Unlike other goodies, you should be much more careful with watching their intake.
Chickens only need a certain amount of protein, and mealworms are a very dense protein source. Too much protein can hurt your chicks.
Sprouts are an excellent treat for chicks. It is simple, nutritious, and you can find them all over the place or make them. The most common is the bean sprouts, but you can sprout just about any seed you can think of.
Sprouts are seeds that have started to grow. These treats are refreshing and healthy for humans and chickens. They are also easy to make at home, especially if you need a specific type of sprout.
To make a treat, you can follow these steps:
Step 1: Prepare some sprouting seeds, water, and a jar or container you can use to filter water.
Step 2: You need to soak your seeds overnight. Then, rinse and drain them.
Step 3: Repeat the process for the next few days until the sprouts are the length you want them to be.
Step 4: Once your sprouts are the size you want, you can remove them from the jar or container.
Step 5: Pat them dry and keep them as dry as possible to prevent rotting during storage. They should last five days in the fridge.
If you don’t want to make your sprouts at home, you can also buy them from any health food store. Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds is one of the products available.
- LOADED WITH ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS: Alfalfa seeds are full of...
- DELICIOUS SPROUTS: Alfalfa sprouts are just the right amount of...
- BEST SERVED FRESH: Use alfalfa seeds for sprouting and enjoy the...
- ANTIOXIDANT BOOSTER: Microgreens grown from alfalfa sprouting...
- LOW IN CALORIES: Fresh alfalfa sprouts only have about 30...
Broccoli is also a safe, healthy choice for chicks. It is a curious-looking vegetable that will entice your chicks to explore what it tastes like. It’s also affordable, and you can find it at every grocery store.
Their sister vegetable, cauliflower, is another excellent option. If you put them together, your chicks will be curious. Some chicks may even discover their preference for one over the other.
8. Scratch Grains
Another fantastic option is scratch grains. These are simple and have significant amounts of protein and fiber. This will help your chicks stay happy, healthy and enjoy their enclosure.
Scratch grains give enrichment to your chicks as well. They need to be scratched up from the ground and will challenge your chicks. These are found at just about every feed store where you find chicks and chicken food.
Scratch is essentially the junk food of a chicken’s diet. While it may make your chicks very happy, you should not feed them entirely on scratch grains. The seeds and other components do not meet all of the nutritional needs of chickens.
Scratching food up from the ground is one of the most basic chicken behaviors. It is a way to explore the world, get exercise, and encourage hygiene with your chicks scratching up their litter and circulating it.
If you have a set of chicks without a hen, using scratch grain is an excellent way for your chicks to learn more about the world.
What Makes a Good Chick Treat?
A good treat for your baby chicks is small enough that it won’t choke or hurt them but also large enough to satisfy them. They should be nutritious, fresh, and without mold, and not given too much or too often.
Everything should be done in moderation and carefully; too much of a good thing is a bad thing. If your chicks start showing signs of illness or allergies, you should stop feeding your chicks the treat you’ve given them.
It would help if you also broke down different treats to size, so you don’t run the risk of hurting your chicks. This should prevent any possibility of choking. As your chicks get older, they can handle larger-sized treats.
Make sure all your treats are fresh and clean. Mold can be deadly to baby chicks since their immune systems aren’t strong enough to fend off other threats to their immune system.
If you consider all this, you should have a great system to give your chicks treats. This will help you cut down on food waste and can give them a more diverse diet.
List of Sources
Raising Backyard Chickens for Eggs
Tips to Keep Chickens in a Laying Mood