I brought home four new chicks from the hatchery this year. There were initially just two Silver Laced Wyandottes and two Americaunas (Easter Eggers) but then chicken math happened. I fed them after midnight and had more the next day.
Oh, just kidding! They eat at all hours of the day and night!
The next morning I decided I wanted two more Easter Eggers so went back to the hatchery. I told myself that if they didn’t have any, I would just go back home. That logic did not work so I ended up getting two Blue Gems to add to the four sitting in the brooder at home.
Here is where my ignorance came into play.
This flock of chicks is not the same as my last. For some reason, I assumed a flock of chicks was a flock of chicks but apparently I am completely wrong.
As you may know, I recorded the life of the first flock from day one and still am even now. So, as with the others, I’ve been recording them and watching the new flock’s activity. That’s when I noticed one was not eating but instead just pecking at dust particles of food. That alone might not be an issue but she was not getting enough food!
So I added some feed to a small bowl of water and sure enough, they all enjoyed that. I still had a dilemma because adding water to feed forever it not a thing I can or want to do.
After a few days and nights of worry and even trying to give the one chick some scrambled eggs, I noticed that the other chicks weren’t really eating much either.
None of their crops were as full as my previous chicks were and yet they were very interested in eating to the point I wondered if they were starving. They would run all around the feeder and nearly attack it in desperation.
I asked my neighbor if I could have a small amount of her chick feed (assuming it was different) to see if that would make a difference. In the mean time, I ground up my chick feed into smaller pieces even though it came pretty small in the first place.
They seemed to eat the smaller bits easier but still not as I would expect. When I got the feed from my friend, I ground that up and gave it to the chicks. There were two containers in the brooder and they were going more for the new feed than the old which told me my next move.
The next day I took my feed back to the store and exchanged it for what I’m using now. I’m still grinding it up because they are just a week old and peck around the larger pieces. At some point, those large pieces will become small to them and I will stop with the extra work.
The two Silver Laced Wyandottes are not as happy with the new feed as the other chicks. They stand around the feeder occasionally pecking at the food or dig in the pine shavings looking for something else.
They do eat it but it seems to be done out of reluctance more than anything else. At least they are all eating it enough to show in their crops. And they are drinking, which is even more important.
Check out the video below and my YouTube channel if you’re interested in watching their progress or even going back a year to the first flock’s brooder moments. They are just as fun to film and watch today as when they were chicks.
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