Ages/Feed/Grit/Help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by UKChickInNZ, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. UKChickInNZ

    UKChickInNZ New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2014
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Hi all

    I have acquired 3 black Silkies (4 months old) and 4 buff Orpingtons (9 weeks old).

    The problem I have is with feeding them all together.
    After hours Googling I decided to have them all on Grower Feed and was advised to provide the older ones with grit/oyster shell for more calcium.

    Am I correct in thinking that I don't need to provide the oyster shell/grit to the silkies until they are at point of lay? (According to the breeder still 4 months away - that seems an awfully long time!)

    However I then run into a problem as some different sites have said NOT to give young chickens (my Orpingtons) oyster shell/grit..
    If I have them all on Grower Feed then I have to give the older ones grit.. but the younger ones can't have grit?

    I went a little crazy on a website and have bought lots of chicken things as I'm very excited [​IMG]
    I have some oyster shell grit and Diatomaceous Earth on the way [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance to anyone that answers me!
     
  2. Alicatt

    Alicatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2013
    catskills, New York
    The grit is designed to break down their food, so if you are giving anything other than crumble feed, like sunflower seeds or cracked corn, you should provide grit. In my opinion you don't need the oyster shell, I doubt you are getting eggs yet, but in another Month or so when you are getting eggs, put in a small dish of the oyster shell/ they will not gorge on it, they will eat what they need to replenish the calcium used to make the eggs.

    Do silkies really lay that late? My orpingtons were 22 weeks when I got my first egg.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  3. UKChickInNZ

    UKChickInNZ New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2014
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Thanks for your reply Alicatt. Nope no eggs yet - or for 4 months apparently? Seems long to me.

    So the younger chickens are okay to eat grit and oyster shell?

    Also what constitutes 'grit'? I had searched the internet to buy some and bought some 'Oyster Shell Grit' - I thought that might be the same thing but looks like I might have been wrong!
     
  4. Alicatt

    Alicatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2013
    catskills, New York
    Grit is crushed granite, smashed rocks, yup. If your chicks are running around loose, they will find their own. I wouldn't give oyster shell til you get an egg.
     
  5. larry529

    larry529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2013
    Bucyrus, Ohio
    yes free ranged birds like Alicatt said will def get there own form of grit free ranging, but if not you can buy grit fine at 8 weeks old. I have never bought different sized grit, for me its one size fits all :)
     
  6. UKChickInNZ

    UKChickInNZ New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2014
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Thanks guys. Wouldn't know where to buy grit around here - will sand do?

    EDIT - Sorry should have said, I will start free ranging them when they are more familiar with us and their house so they know where to come back, but for now they are in a 20 metre square run which consists just of grass, so no grit here :( !
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  7. larry529

    larry529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2013
    Bucyrus, Ohio
    Tractor supply, ruralking I would look for grit. You can always order from poultry places online but ull bend over on shipping. I bought some grit at TSC for 25lbs for 6.00
     
  8. 12321

    12321 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Sand will work for grit too, or a scoop of gravel off the edge of your driveway or a country road, just be sure it hasn't been sprayed with herbicide. The birds will pick through and take whatever size they want.
     
  9. UKChickInNZ

    UKChickInNZ New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2014
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Great, we have a really gravelly driveway so will put some of that in there :)

    Will also try and find some sand.

    Have tried to find lots online but can only find oyster grit. I'm in New Zealand so I'm not sure what TSC is lol :) I'm assuming its a store.
     
  10. 12321

    12321 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Yes, TSC is Tractor Supply Co. in the US

    The gravel will be fine as long as there is small stuff in it. My last group of chicks I raised on sand. Now when I put a bowl of sand in there pen, they eat it like it was candy. When I put a bowl of sand in the other two pens, they just try to have a dust bath. I haven't seen them eat any of it. They get a cup full of gravel on the floor every couple of days.
     

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