5-weekers gobbling grit!

TimM

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
64
14
94
My 5-week-old Golden Comets go through grit like crazy. I had been free feeding it in a dish next to the feeder, but now I've taken to filling the grit bowl just once every three days. They empty the bowl in a few hours! Technically they don't even need grit now, because I feed them exclusively starter feed. But many people told me that it's good to get them started on the grit habit early so they know it's edible. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
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Ohio
Are you free feeding them the chick food also? How big is the bowl / how much are you giving them? Are you sure they are actually eating the grit and not throwing it around and mixing it in the bedding?
 

TimM

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
64
14
94
Thanks for responding!

I free feed them chick starter from a big feeder. The grit bowl is a medium size dog water bowl, and I put in about a cup at a time. Your last question is the toughest. I don't see grit in the bedding, but that's several inches of pine shavings, so they may be just throwing it around and it's getting mixed into the bedding and lost.

I suppose throwing it around is better than eating vast quantities of it, but I'm still going through a lot of grit. Twice in the last five years I've bought a few grown hens (this is my first brooding experience) and they ate hardly any grit. I'd fill a tuna fish can in the corner of the coop and that would last for weeks. With these youngsters, a tuna can of grit would be gone one way or another in minutes I think.

Tim
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
4,956
586
Ohio
If they always have food available, I would guess they are beaking or scratching out the gravel and just playing around with it. You could try putting it up higher or in a narrower/smaller bowl or something so they have to work at it a little harder to get some to see if that makes a difference. My older ones that are outside or older chicks that are in a run and have access to dirt hardly touch the extra grit, like you said what your hens did. With little chicks I usually sprinkle some on their feed though, not offer it in a bowl, but that is personal preference since people do it both ways, heck some people brood on sand.
 

TimM

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
64
14
94
Thanks! Getting a narrower and taller bowl is next on my to-do list, but I haven't found any at home yet. I've got to go look in a store.

Tim
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
4,956
586
Ohio
Cheap way, tin cans, make sure edges aren't sharp, heavy rock on bottom, chick gravel on top.
 

TimM

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
64
14
94
Great idea! I've been looking for a heavy dish. Maybe a pet store. But until then, heavy rock. Wish I had thought of that.

Tim
 

Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
217
216
SE Pa.
With today's tin cans it is easy to punch a hole in them and hang them at the height you want on the wall. No weight needed. I'm currently using 16 oz baked bean cans, as they are wide enough for a chicken to reach in and deep enough they don't throw the grit or oyster shell out.
 

TimM

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
64
14
94
Den - Well, I sure did come to the right place for advice. Thanks!

One question... do you use two strings so it hangs level, or one so it hangs at an angle?

Tim
 

Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
217
216
SE Pa.
One screw or nail to hang it by, through the hole in the can, on the wall. The hole has to big enough for the screw head to slip easily through so the can be taken and filled.. The weight of the grit or oyster shell pulls them level enough. I only fill them about half way up so they can't flick it out.
 

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