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Do baby chicks need grit?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have 5 day old baby chicks and was told at the feed store that they don't need grit until they're done eating their starter.  But mypetchicken.com, where I got the chicks, says to give them grit.  Any advice?

Thank you!

P.S.  I have been giving them a few bugs to eat (they go crazy trying to catch them) as well as tiny pieces of clover and grass, which they don't seem to really eat, but just peck at.

1 Wonderful husband who built us a fantastic chicken coop, 4 awesome kids, 1 sheltie who keeps the hens safe from hawks!, 2 parakeets, 1 cockatiel, 2 cats, 2 gerbils, over a dozen hens and a gorgeous Araucana roo.
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1 Wonderful husband who built us a fantastic chicken coop, 4 awesome kids, 1 sheltie who keeps the hens safe from hawks!, 2 parakeets, 1 cockatiel, 2 cats, 2 gerbils, over a dozen hens and a gorgeous Araucana roo.
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post #2 of 18

I didn't give mine grit until one of them ate a load of bedding and got an impacted crop, now I give them a little chick grit.  It gives them something to scratch for and I can give them treats anytime I like.

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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post #3 of 18

If you give them anything besides starter, it's a good idea to give them just a little bit of grit so that they can properly digest the food.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

can i give them any sand?  even from the yard or sandbox?  maybe that's a dumb question, but just wondering.  thx!

1 Wonderful husband who built us a fantastic chicken coop, 4 awesome kids, 1 sheltie who keeps the hens safe from hawks!, 2 parakeets, 1 cockatiel, 2 cats, 2 gerbils, over a dozen hens and a gorgeous Araucana roo.
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1 Wonderful husband who built us a fantastic chicken coop, 4 awesome kids, 1 sheltie who keeps the hens safe from hawks!, 2 parakeets, 1 cockatiel, 2 cats, 2 gerbils, over a dozen hens and a gorgeous Araucana roo.
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post #5 of 18

In theory, yes, but I wouldn't.  Dirt contains cocci which can wipe out a chick really quickly.  I would give them something that has been sterilized.  I use Nutri-Source chick grit.  They love it and it has some minerals and anise oil.  It does tend to produce some reddish poos, however, and it will stain your hands.  If you can't get chick grit, parakeet grit is o.k.  You can find that at any grocery store.  With the parakeet grit, I just mix a little into their crumbles.

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
Reply
post #6 of 18

Hmmm...  I've been giving my 5-week-olds dirt...  hope they'll be okay.  Another BYCer suggested just giving them a clump of sod... roots, worms, stones and all, that they'd find what they needed on their own. 
I mean, if they were free-ranging (which they'll do as soon as I get that darn fence built!), they'd be eating dirt on their own, right? 
Is cocci present in all dirt, or just dirt if chickens have been living there previously I wonder?
So far mine are okay, but they've only been eating it for a few days.  (And dust-bathing in it, too... I put a cardboard box of dirt in the coop... instant chick sauna, they all want to be in it all the time!)

http://farming101.wordpress.com
Holy moly.  I started out with 25 chickens all the same age, and now I'm up to over 70 at every age possible.  Sal favs, BBS Orps, Buff Orps, partridge silkies, and assorted hatchery birds (I do love my EEs).
I blame BYC!!!
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http://farming101.wordpress.com
Holy moly.  I started out with 25 chickens all the same age, and now I'm up to over 70 at every age possible.  Sal favs, BBS Orps, Buff Orps, partridge silkies, and assorted hatchery birds (I do love my EEs).
I blame BYC!!!
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kinnip 

In theory, yes, but I wouldn't.  Dirt contains cocci which can wipe out a chick really quickly.  I would give them something that has been sterilized.  I use Nutri-Source chick grit.  They love it and it has some minerals and anise oil.  It does tend to produce some reddish poos, however, and it will stain your hands.  If you can't get chick grit, parakeet grit is o.k.  You can find that at any grocery store.  With the parakeet grit, I just mix a little into their crumbles.


There you go.

what kinnip said.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmergal 

Hmmm...  I've been giving my 5-week-olds dirt...  hope they'll be okay.  Another BYCer suggested just giving them a clump of sod... roots, worms, stones and all, that they'd find what they needed on their own. 
I mean, if they were free-ranging (which they'll do as soon as I get that darn fence built!), they'd be eating dirt on their own, right? 
Is cocci present in all dirt, or just dirt if chickens have been living there previously I wonder?
So far mine are okay, but they've only been eating it for a few days.  (And dust-bathing in it, too... I put a cardboard box of dirt in the coop... instant chick sauna, they all want to be in it all the time!)


Cocci are ubiquitous.  They actually play an important part in soil health.  Whether a chick "comes down with" coccidiosis is a matter of many variables.  If they're being fed medicated starter, it mitigates the risk.  If they're quite healthy and unstressed, and/or several weeks old, it also mitigates risk.  If they're partaking of certain plants or veggies it can mitigate risk.  Chicks are raised at their mother's side all the time with no negative effects, but under the controlled conditions of a brooder, I'd rather err on the side of safety.

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
Reply
I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
Reply
post #9 of 18

I've given all of mine sand out of my horse arena without any problems.  I couldn't find chick grit here.  The only grit I did find is too big for even my nearly grown bantams.  I finally got some parakeet grit but the tiny box didn't last long.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

what about sterilizing your own dirt in the microwave?  I know people do that to make sterile potting soil...

1 Wonderful husband who built us a fantastic chicken coop, 4 awesome kids, 1 sheltie who keeps the hens safe from hawks!, 2 parakeets, 1 cockatiel, 2 cats, 2 gerbils, over a dozen hens and a gorgeous Araucana roo.
Reply
1 Wonderful husband who built us a fantastic chicken coop, 4 awesome kids, 1 sheltie who keeps the hens safe from hawks!, 2 parakeets, 1 cockatiel, 2 cats, 2 gerbils, over a dozen hens and a gorgeous Araucana roo.
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