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Baby Chicks and Grit

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MistyMountain, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,

    New to the world of chickens, but couldn't be more excited! I currently have 18 (including at least two, but maybe four EE's) week old chicks in the brooder downstairs. I ordered them from McMurray. Mcmurray's instructions mention to sprinkle chick grit on their food on day 3. I use Manna Pro Chick Grit, and currently feed Dumore Starter/Grower. My question is: Just how much grit do I use? I just sprinkle like I am using salt right now. Should the amount of grit increase as they get older? Is there ever a point at which I should offer grit in a separate container? I assume at some point they recognize the difference between their food and the grit and will eat appropriate amounts, right?

    A bit off subject, but I am especially excited about my EE chicks. When they start laying, does each hen lay the same colored eggs each time? Or can each egg color be different? If they do lay the same color each time, is there any way to predict by the hen's color what color she will produce?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. CowGrrrl

    CowGrrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When they go outside you can decrease the amount you give them. They pick up grit (little tiny rocks) from when they forage.
     
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to the world of chickens. I always introduced grit sprinkled on feed at two weeks of age (you'll notice the chick grit bag you have mentions this). I would stop using Dumor since they have been on the FDA recall list a number of times for example:
    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm302101.htm

    You want healthy birds, so it is worth the effort to find a mill that produces a quality ration in your area. Here's an example of what I prefer in my starter/grower:

    KING BRAND
    ORGANIC CHICK START
    & GROW CRUMBLES
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
    Crude Protein, not less than..........…………………………...................22.0%
    Lysine, not more than…………………………………………………..……1.0%
    Methionine, not less than……………………………………………………0.4%
    Crude Fat, not less than................................…………………………......2.5%
    Crude Fiber, not more than......................……………………………........5.0%
    Ash, not more than………………………………..……………………..……8.0%
    Calcium, not less than..............................……………………………........0.8%
    Calcium, not more than.............................…………………………….......1.2%
    Phosphorus, not less than...........................……………………………....0.6%
    Sodium, not more than..............................……………………………......0.3%
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    INGREDIENTS
    Organic Soybean Meal, Organic Wheat, Organic Corn, Ground Limestone, Organic Flaxseed, Monocalcium &
    Dicalcium Phosphate, Diatomaceous Earth, Mineral Sea Salt (Redmond), DL Methionine, Hydrolyzed Yeast,
    Brewers Dried Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Garlic Granules, Organic Horseradish Powder, Organic Star
    Anise Oil, Organic Juniper Berry Oil, Reed Sedge Peat, Calcium Bentonite, Choline Chloride, Manganese
    Oxide, Niacin Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate,
    Vitamin A Supplement, D-Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Tribasic Copper Chloride, Vitamin B-12 Supplement,
    Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Dimethyl Pyrimidinol Bisulfate (Source of
    Vitamin K activity), Ethylene Diamine Dihydroiodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
    ______________________________________________________
    FEEDING DIRECTIONS
    1. Feed Organic Chick Start & Grow Crumbles free choice as the sole ration to growing chickens.
    2. Store Organic Chick Start Crumbles in a cool, dry area. Never feed moldy or insect-infested feeds.
    ____________________________________________________________
    KING MEANS QUALITY
    Manufactured By
    L. A. HEARNE COMPANY- KING CITY, CA. 93930
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  4. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the info, Michael. I was considering changing feeds anyhow since Tractor Supply is no longer convenient. Now, a question on that: Do I need to transition into a new feed like with a dog or a horse to prevent stomach problems?
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome. The only time I do that is when I'm introducing chicks from a starter/grower to a layer ration between 15-20 weeks of age. When you move from bad quality to good quality, you'll only see improvement. It is also highly beneficial to give them a good quality vitamin-electrolyte-probiotic in the water a couple days a week. Many have a high percentage of salt, so you're better off with more vitamins and other trace minerals. Avian Super Pack, Vitamins, Electrolytes "Plus", Broiler Max, are all very good supplements. Probios soluble powder is a great addition to those vitamin packs that don't contain probiotics.

    What are you planning for coccidiosis resistance?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  6. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds great! I did order McMurray's "Quik Chik" supplement, and I have kept that in their fresh water daily. I meant to call them to ask if this should be a daily thing or if there is a point that I should back off and only supply it when necessary. Probiotics was another thing on my question list. Is there a brand you recommend? How often would you offer it? From my inexperienced eye, it looks like everything is working as it should on the way "out" of the chicks. No pasty bottoms, just a couple fluffy yellow ones who get a tiny line of waste stuck well away from their vents. To he honest, with all that fluff, I am amazed they keep it as clean as they do!

    Beyond having them vaccinated for both coccidiosis and Mareks, I have not given much thought as to what to do beyond. I hope that wasn't a bad idea. I figure I have my pets and children vaccinated, why not the chickens. I hope to keep them inside until about 5-6 weeks, and then move them out to the coop. My biggest worry from then on is predators, both wild and domestic. Sadly, the "domestic" includes our dog, Lilly. We've got some introductions and work to do with that one!
     
  7. ederob

    ederob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I use Probios dispersible powder in drinking water. I believe Quick Chik makes a probiotic too but it is more cost effective for me to use Probios since those little packets of Quik Chick add up to being more expensive. Here's a link to Probios if you want to analyze it:
    http://www.probios.com/powdersgranules.html

    I generally use that in addition to Avian Super Pack vitamins for supplementation. They have plenty of green grass to range on during the winter and spring. I supplement greens during the Summer when the fields are dry and brown. I mix a wet mash with buttermilk or give them no salt tuna or salmon once in awhile since animal proteins are the best quality proteins. I gradually introduce these things when they feather out and are outside in the grow off pen (a smaller penned area with a coop attached to my barn). I get them adjusted to their pen as a safe home base before getting them out to supervised ranging. After a while I won't even need to round them up, but if I need to, I can always shake the scratch can, and they come running.

    Vaccinations aren't 100%, but if you had them vaccinated for Coccidiosis in addition to Marek's, it wouldn't hurt to help the immunity with Corid prevention 2 weeks before exposure to outside soil. Especially if you have many migratory birds around. I have dogs too. They do not go out with me unless they are tied to my waist. Some dogs which don't have a high drive for prey can be taught to leave them alone, others need constant supervision. So the best approach is to have a fenced yard, top and bottom, with a strong woven wire. I don't know whether coons and coyotes are in your area, but they will tear through chicken wire. I use a 2x2" wire, 6' tall on the perimeter, and 1" chicken wire over the top of the yard because of hawks and falcons. This is the perimeter wire I use for my yard: http://www.redbrand.com/Products/SpecialtyApplication/YardGardenKennel.aspx

    Make the yard as large as you can so they have plenty of space when you can't range them. Provide shade in the yard for the birds and a water/feeding station.
    I considered everything before building my last yard and coop and was happy I did. You may already have a secure site, but just thought I'd mention a few things if it could help.
     

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