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At what age do I start giving grit? Help! Got 9 5 weekold chicks,

post #1 of 7
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We went to pick up pullets, and ended up with 9 various 5 week old chicks, barred rocks, RIR, leghorns, silkies, etc. - I am so not prepared - I gave them some chick starter, but what age do I give them grit? I hope I'm doing this right, they all seem to be just dealing with everything OK (so far).....
Also, I have two one gallon waterers in their coop - I guided them to it, will they find it when they need to? Man, I was expecting pullets.....

The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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post #2 of 7

Any time you feed something other than commercial feed the birds will need grit.  This includes the grass and bugs they get while foraging in your yard. 

Grit is inexpensive and it never hurts to have it from the start.

post #3 of 7

YOu can give grit anytime. I've also been told if they are strictly on feed they don't need grit.  Not sure if this is true.  The grit would be good if they are only eating greens and bugs and no sand.   The chick grit I used said to feed until 10 weeks old.  yes, they will find the water when they need it.

1 speckled sussex roo, 3 black star pullets, 3 columbian wyandotte pullets, 2 barred rock pullets, 3 black giant pullets, 2 Rhode Island Red pullets, 3 Silverlaced wyandotte, 3 black australorp pullets, 3 buff rock pullets, 4 buff orpington pullets and 1 lonely 'exotic' roo,  an EE
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1 speckled sussex roo, 3 black star pullets, 3 columbian wyandotte pullets, 2 barred rock pullets, 3 black giant pullets, 2 Rhode Island Red pullets, 3 Silverlaced wyandotte, 3 black australorp pullets, 3 buff rock pullets, 4 buff orpington pullets and 1 lonely 'exotic' roo,  an EE
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post #4 of 7

I give my chicks grit.  Since they were 1 week old.  I just scattered it on their feed in their feeder but now I scatter it in the coop.  They like to scratch and find it in the chips.

Angie - DW to Alan, DM to Taylor 17 & Hunter 10 and share our home w/ Sydney (Blue Heeler), Joey & Jezabel (cats), 20 RIR & 5 Mallards
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Angie - DW to Alan, DM to Taylor 17 & Hunter 10 and share our home w/ Sydney (Blue Heeler), Joey & Jezabel (cats), 20 RIR & 5 Mallards
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post #5 of 7

Yup! Scatter it in the run. Mom tells them what it is and how much to eat. There's chick grit that's red and tiny.

3-kids, wonderful dh, 6-fish, 1- gerbil, 2-mice, 4-rats, 16 chickens, 1-cat
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3-kids, wonderful dh, 6-fish, 1- gerbil, 2-mice, 4-rats, 16 chickens, 1-cat
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post #6 of 7

Yes  I too mix the grit into their feed.
          and they really enjoy picking at it I get mine at TSC.

HeavenCan Wait, Livin in Paradise.
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HeavenCan Wait, Livin in Paradise.
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post #7 of 7

As you can see from the posts, people do different things and most do it very successfully. 

Chickens do not have molars to grind their food.  The gizzard does that for them.  And since the gizzard is not all that hard, they eat sand and small pebbles for the gizzard to use to gring the harder, tougher, or longer food bits food.  They need to get the bits and pieces they eat down to a certain size so it can pass through their system, even if it is not all that hard.  That's why they need grit if they are eating something like grass.

The chicken starter is formulated so they do not need grit if that is all they eat.  There area few other things they can eat without grit but to be safe, I start mine on grit by the time they are 5 days old.  By that time, they have figured out what is food.  All I did was put some sand from outside in a small plastic yogurt cup wired to the side of the brooder.  I never know when a hard-shelled bug will wander into their brooder so I want them to be ready.  I think it also helps them pass pieces of bedding they eat through their system.  In the brooder, I do not mix the grit with their food.  I figure they know better how much they need than I do.  Some people do mix it and it works for them.  I don't think there is a right or wrong answer on that.

When you get two or three day old chicks through the mail, you put the chicks beaks in the water as you put them in the brooder to show them where the water is.  At 5 weeks old, they have already figured out what water is.  They should find it on their own.  If they seem to have trouble figuring it out, take a couple of chicks and dip their beak in the water. The others will learn by watching them.  When I put my 4 week olds in the coop I changed types of waterers.  It took them a while to figure it out even after I dipped a few beaks.  I just kept their brooder waterer in the coop until they did.

Good luck!

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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

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