Baby chicks can be introduced to small amounts of grubs at a very early age, but how do we go about properly providing the grubs for the chicks to enjoy?
First off, at such an early age, you should try to feed your grubs provided free-choice. In other words, your chicks should have the choice of consuming the grubs or not. That means the grubs should be provided in a shallow bowl or plate separate from the feed. You can eventually put the grubs in the palm of your hand to try to bond with your flock and gain trust.
When starting with a dish, be sure that the serving platter is shallow and easy for the chicks to eat out of. Lids from yogurt containers work well at containing the grubs while still allowing the chicks access to the grubs.
A mother hen would naturally break up particles of food into bit size pieces that her chicks can eat. You should do the same! A baby chick can not consume a whole grub, although they might try. Instead, you should crush the grubs up into smaller pieces so that they can consume easily. In the end, the grubs will end up looking more like grub crumbs, but the chicks find them just as delicious!
Remember, whenever you provide treats and foods other than chick starter feed, you should also provide a source of chick grit to help the chicks digest their new foods. Chick grit can be purchased at local feed stores, just make sure you get chick grit and not layer grit.
A more natural way to provide grit for your chicks is by giving them a clump of grass at the same time you provide the crushed grubs. Allow some dirt to stay clumped to the roots of the grass and place the clump on a shallow platter (again, a yogurt container lid works well). Sprinkle some crushed grubs around the dirt clump and watch your chicks go crazy!
They may be scared of their new snacks at first, but if you use your finger and pretend like you are enjoying the grubs and dirt clump, then your chicks will quickly take their cues and come to love ‘grass clump time’! The dirt attached to the grass roots functions as grit to help the chicks digest the crushed grubs.
One word of caution though, make sure you get your grass clump from a clean source so that it has not been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. Also, make sure the greenery is something safe for your chicks to consume. Weed clumps like dandelion, herbs, chickweed, and other safe weeds for chickens will also be favorites for baby chicks.