2 questions

Jane Boone

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
How much grit to feed my 5 2 1/2 week old chicks? Also do chicks use a cuttle bone like a bird to keep their beaks "filed." I've seen a couple of them rub their beaks on the bottom of the box and wondered. My chicks will be indoors for a couple of weeks yet, at least, before they are put outside and become "free range" chickens. Thanks for any help.

Welcome to BYC!

Stop with the cuttle bone. WAY too much calcium for young chicks that can damage the kidneys. Chicks and chickens will naturally work their beaks down by scratching in the dirt when they get outside. So take the cuttle bone away. As for grit, you don't have to actually feed it to them, you can keep it in a separate bowl for them and they will eat what they need. However if all they are eating is chick starter, they do not need grit to digest starter. Only if you are feeding other food stuffs or anything that is not water soluble to they need grit.

Have you stopped by our learning center yet? Lots of good reads on all the aspects of keeping poultry...


Enjoy your new chicks and welcome to our flock!
great to have you joining the BYC flock

BYC has a very useful learning center

Grit for chicks, ok if you want to give chicks grit it would be a small
amount sprinkled on the floor of the brooder to play or scratch
around in as it could be un option but I always feed my chicks
Turkey grow with 20% + protein .......

Good luck in your poultry ventures
As far as the grit, it really depends on what you're feeding them. If all they are getting is say crumbles, the grit isn't so necessary, but if they are getting grains or seeds in the form of treats they'll need it. I keep some always available in a small feeder in the run and they eat it when they need it. At that age, recommend you use the smaller chick grit.
2 Crows has given you good advice. I learned something too. When we had cage birds -canaries and a Java Rice Bird, we had cuttle bones for them. I never knew they were a source of calcium. I was a young kid then and I guess I never thought about it at all. I do know they loved millet .

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