Baby chicks and Scratch

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jackhorn01, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. jackhorn01

    jackhorn01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    8
    81
    Aug 10, 2012
    Logansport, Louisiana
    How old do the chicks need to be before I start giving them scratch along with their starter feed? Also for ducklings? I'm brooding them together.
     
  2. SarahBee

    SarahBee Out Of The Brooder

    36
    2
    24
    Apr 22, 2012
    This is a dumb question I'm sure... is scratch the same thing as grit?
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    215
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    No dumb questions. There are lots of new terms to get used to. They are not the same.

    Scratch is basically just a chicken snack. It is usually mostly corn and you just toss a handful or two on the ground so they can "scratch" around. It is not necessary but a lot of people like to feed it. It is NOT a chicken feed, just a snack.

    Grit is little tiny rocks. Chickens to not have teeth. Instead the food travel into their crop and then through the gizzard. Chickens eat these little rocks which collect inside the gizzard and the strong muscles use the rocks like teeth to grind up food. They will not eat a lot of it and if they free range or have a large natural space they can find these rocks on their own. I keep it out because my hens spend most of their time in an enclosed run.

    I don't know anything about ducks. But, for my pullets I don't start giving them scratch until they have moved outside.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  4. megan80568

    megan80568 Out Of The Brooder

    58
    2
    31
    Feb 11, 2013
    Do baby chicks and ducks need grit? I'm not finding a definite answer anywhere
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    5,975
    1,246
    336
    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN

    They do if you feed them food that needs to be ground up. Chick feed, yogurt, corn meal, no grit needed. Greens, seeds, meal worms, cracked corn, give grit. It's not going to hurt them to have grit available so if you aren't sure whether the treat you're giving requires grit, just go ahead and offer grit. It will hurt them if you give food that they can't break down and it just sits in their crops and sours because they have no grit to grind it up.
     
  6. jackhorn01

    jackhorn01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    8
    81
    Aug 10, 2012
    Logansport, Louisiana
    Thanks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by