Age chicks can have 5grain Scratch?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by yeye5, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. yeye5

    yeye5 Songster

    Jun 11, 2016
    North East Florida
    I recently purchased my favorite scratch. I'm wanting to give it to the youngsters but I'm afraid it's too soon.
    The 20 week olds eat exactly the same diet as the adults. I have 7 little peeps that are 8 weeks old.
    This scratch, made by a company called Southern States contains whole corn, popped corn, wheat seeds (aka wheat berries),Milo (alpiste)grain and black sunflowers seeds.
    The floor of their house with mom hen and daddy roo is the ground with wire underground so there is sand accessible though I haven't seen them try to ingest it. I do throw starter feed on the earth in addition to their food bowls. They seem to love to dig for it.
    All of that said, is it too early for scratch? When would be avoid age to intro that into their diet?

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Your 8 weeks old birds are fine to have scratch provided they also have access to grit. Starter mash just kind of dissolves without the need of grit, but whole grain must be ground in the gizzard, making grit necessary before scratch is given.
  3. yeye5

    yeye5 Songster

    Jun 11, 2016
    North East Florida
    Thank you!
    I was at the feed store yesterday and saw a product named Click Grit. I know it's the same granite grit as the adult kind but I wanted to make it easier for them to eat if they want or need to.
    Is it correct to put in in its own feeding bowl? And Not mixed with food? Should I let them have a few days of it before offering the Scratch?
    And 2here does usual Florida sand come into the grit topic? Does it provide any grit?
    Thanks again!
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockwit Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Chick grit is too small for 8 week old birds. It will pass right through the gizzard to no benefit as a grinding aid. Same goes for the fine sand in your run.
    Chick grit is also called #1 size and it is truly for baby chicks. I sprinkle a little on the chicks feed when they are a couple days old and thereafter I offer it in a separate container. I offer it whether they eat anything other than starter or not. It helps develop the gizzard.

    Yours are ready for adult grit.

    Poultry Grit #1 is the smallest with average size of 1/16”. It is best for turkeys age 1-5 days or chickens age 1-3 weeks
    Poultry Grit #2 averages 3/16”. Recommended for turkeys age 6-21 days and chickens age 4-6 weeks
    Poultry Grit #3 averages 5/16”. Recommended for turkeys age 3-8 weeks and chickens age 7+ weeks

    If chicks were out foraging with a hen, they would be eating seeds so they can have scratch now but just make sure it doesn't make up more than 5% of their diet. It is woefully deficient in most of the nutrients growing birds need.

    I wouldn't toss feed on the ground, that's a good way to waste a bunch.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016

  6. yeye5

    yeye5 Songster

    Jun 11, 2016
    North East Florida
    Thanks again!
    I just looked at each package. They're 2 different brands. The chick grit is by Purina. The other larger grit is by Dumdor. That package says they can have it from 8 weeks on. I guess chicks just seemed so tiny to me to be getting any grit.
    Live and learn.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  7. DrPatrickBiggs

    DrPatrickBiggs Chirping

    Aug 20, 2015
    I would recommend that you wait until those chicks are around 18 weeks old before giving them scratch and other treats. Early development is vital for long-term health. It is important that these young pullets develop correctly so that they can provide you with years of eggs. If they start eating too much scratch, then they may not be getting enough of their regular diet that supplies them with the appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients, which can cause them to not grow at the proper rate. If you can’t resist waiting, then be sure to limit the amount of scratch you provide them to about 5% of their diet. Once they have reach 18 weeks of age, you can move that to 10% scratch.
  8. yeye5

    yeye5 Songster

    Jun 11, 2016
    North East Florida
    Thanks for the feedback!
    Once I got the info here I stepped back the scratch to a couple of times a week only as treats. I have them on medicated starter same as usual without extras. Up til 8weeks old there had been 7 chicks- 3 silkies from the mom who hatched the eggs. Then 4 more larger breed chicks from adopted eggs. Long story short, when the same hen started brooding a new clutch, two eggs got broken. I decided to move the large chicks to the adult area. So far I've managed to feed them separately and I'll keep on it. As I understand the age to switch chicks to adult food is 16-20 weeks?
    I feed both laying pellets and laying crumbles to the adults.

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