5-weekers gobbling grit!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TimM, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    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!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    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?
     
  3. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    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
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    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.
     
  5. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    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
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Cheap way, tin cans, make sure edges aren't sharp, heavy rock on bottom, chick gravel on top.
     
  7. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    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
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  9. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    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
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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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