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When can I start giving my chicks grit?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a few different age groups in chicks. I have 8 week olds, 6 week olds, and 3 week olds. When can I start giving them grit? The 8 weekers and 6 weekers are already in the coop but I have them separated for now until they get integrated. Should I have been giving them grit all along? I have raised many chicks before and never have given any grit until about 20 weeks old. I saw chick grit today and never knew it existed until now... sad.png should I give chick grit to all the chicks? Or just the 6 and 8 weekers?
Thanks!
post #2 of 6
You CAN give your chicks grit at any age. They don’t NEED grit until they eat something other than normally processed chicken feed because chicken feed has already been ground up. If you feed them chicken feed that has not been ground up, they need grit. Chickens will use any rocks they eat to grind up their food that needs to be ground in their gizzard. The grit you buy is almost certainly granite, which is cheap since it is waste from a granite quarry and very good for grinding since it is very hard. If your chickens can get to the ground they will find their own but if you contain them where they cannot get to the ground and feed them something that needs to be ground up, giving them grit is a good idea.

Language barrier warning: In the USA grit means Insoluble Grit that is used in the gizzard to grind up food. In other parts of the world Soluble Grit means oyster shell or something similar that provides calcium for hens to use to make their egg shell. Soluble Grit should not be fed to growing chicks.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

You CAN give your chicks grit at any age. They don’t NEED grit until they eat something other than normally processed chicken feed because chicken feed has already been ground up. If you feed them chicken feed that has not been ground up, they need grit. Chickens will use any rocks they eat to grind up their food that needs to be ground in their gizzard. The grit you buy is almost certainly granite, which is cheap since it is waste from a granite quarry and very good for grinding since it is very hard. If your chickens can get to the ground they will find their own but if you contain them where they cannot get to the ground and feed them something that needs to be ground up, giving them grit is a good idea.

Language barrier warning: In the USA grit means Insoluble Grit that is used in the gizzard to grind up food. In other parts of the world Soluble Grit means oyster shell or something similar that provides calcium for hens to use to make their egg shell. Soluble Grit should not be fed to growing chicks.
Okay thanks! The chicks that are in the coop do have access to the ground but the 3 week olds don't
post #4 of 6

i add chick grit to their crumbles right from day 1 because i feed the new chicks mealworms as well.

post #5 of 6

Ridgerunner has great advice. If you want to research deeper, here's a research paper I wrote on the subject a while back.   all 4 or 5 posts.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry

Newest research indicates that when chicks start on grit very early their grow bigger gizzards.

Just like Gran-I-Grit said would happen. Bigger gizzard means better ability to digest feed

which means more nutrients for eggs which means better ability to lay eggs.

 Best Regards,

 Karen

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3riverschick View Post

Ridgerunner has great advice. If you want to research deeper, here's a research paper I wrote on the subject a while back.   all 4 or 5 posts.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry
Newest research indicates that when chicks start on grit very early their grow bigger gizzards.
Just like Gran-I-Grit said would happen. Bigger gizzard means better ability to digest feed
which means more nutrients for eggs which means better ability to lay eggs.
 Best Regards,
 Karen
Thank you for sharing that with me! I will definitely check that out!
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