We just found six silkie chicks that we weren't expecting. Does anyone have any idea as to what I can feed them for the next 24 hours until I can get some chick starter?
You can get some human baby food at the grocery store to give them. Gerber mixed cereal comes in powdered form, I'd mix a bit of it with some jarred stage 1 baby food--meat, and 1 each of a green and orange vegetable. If the babies are a bit older you can get some of the chunkier baby food that they can snack on. It's a bit messy, but it works.
Make sure the food is moist enough and provide water as well. Feed a teaspoonful or two at a time, at room temperature, and removed any uneaten food after an hour to avoid bacteria growing in it.
Do NOT give them cornmeal, popcorn or anything like that to eat, they can't digest it yet. Basic, healthy people food should be OK until you get the chick starter. Other options are raw corn on the cob (slash the kernels to give them tiny bits to eat), cooked ground beef and scrambled eggs. Live mealworms are fantastic if you can get them, make sure they are the tiny ones they can't choke on. Any table scarps must also be diced into fine bits that the chicks can't choke on.
Enjoy your chicks! :)
Thank you so much, Velvet!! I did start them on scrambled eggs but didn't even think about baby food. They are Silkie chicks and they are so cute. Three of them are black and white.....very pretty.
I'll do my best. Mom has them tucked up under her feathers and is very protective.
Velvet's suggestion very good. When you get the starter ration try moistening it with a mixture of 50/50 water and a supper yogurt that is loaded with the digestive bacteria for the first week. That will really kick start their digestive tracts. By moistening the ration the chicks will hydrate faster and take in more nutrients.
My whole flock gets moistened ration regardless of age. There is less wasted feed this way and plus I have contact with each bird 2 or 3 times a day. The Seramas are so small when they hatch that they fit into a teaspoon and most starter rations are too big for them to eat dry. As adults they eat about 1 tablespoon of moistened ration 2 times a day (any more than that they get too fat). While the layer/meat birds get 1 cup 3 time a day. They lay larger eggs and for longer periods of time (ISA Brown hens average 215 eggs/year, White Rocks 194 e/y and Orpingtons average 186 e/y).
Many of the breeders for the large chick brokers (McMurray...) recommend moistened ration the first few days to get the chicks off to a good start. It probably is too labor intense to continue doing it for them. I personally have tried both ways with meat birds and the weight of birds on the moistened ration at 8 weeks is 2 lbs more than ones on dry ration. An added plus they eat less of the moistened ration than the dry, a savings of about 3 lbs of ration per bird over the 8 weeks (3 X 100 birds = 300 lbs of ration or $66 less spent for regular broiled ration and $316 less spent for certified organic broiler ration to bring them to the table). Sort of off topic again.
Good luck with those 'little diddles' as Grandma always called chicks.
We raised Quail for a few years and the chicks are so tiny that the game bird starter was beyond what they could swallow. We would have to grind it up in my kitchen blender for weeks until they got a little bigger. I never thought about moistening it tho.
depending on where you are in Canada digging up a patch of sod and potting it in with them can help. It lets them nibble on the grass, plus get grit, plus have some little midges and bugs of various sorts.
Yes, pics please! They sound like Splash color Silkies...!