Both Feed Stores are out of Chick Grit, Chicks outside on dirt, do they really need it?

sillycmoy

Songster
6 Years
Mar 29, 2013
1,532
69
153
Utah~Utah County
I went to both local feed stores, and both are out of Chick Grit, they both said they could special order for me, but could take up to 2 weeks to get it in. I have two 6 week chicks that are outside in the run all day, and I wanted to start giving them some treats, like lettuce and corn on the cob that I have sitting here. They are in an 8 ft by 8 ft dirt run right now. They will be free range when we get the fence done.

Will they get any grit from the ground they are on, or do I need to wait to give them anything till I can get chick grit.

Thanks
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
152
211
Colorado mountains
I think they'd be fine too. FYI, you can substitute parakeet/canary grit from the supermarket or petstore, although I understand that you don't want to keep them on this for too long because it has higher calcium levels than is good for them.
 

aggiemae

Songster
7 Years
Mar 18, 2012
1,408
138
216
Salem Oregon
as long as your "dirt" isn't just clay it should be fine. Greens are OK at this point but corn is very low in nutrients and I would avoid giving it to young chicks since you are replacing food that is helping them grow and thrive.
 

sillycmoy

Songster
6 Years
Mar 29, 2013
1,532
69
153
Utah~Utah County
They are on regular brown dirt, some area's is compacted, but mostly from us walking on it wet/frozen when we were building the coop and run. And then there is tons of dusty, loose dirt in their too. Well since I don't have any grit, I have changed my mind on the corn, I took it out for dinner anyways and figured I would give the girls some too. Maybe I will throw them some lettuce and some strawberries later on today when I start chopping them up for dinner tonight. And I can give them some fresh tomato's too. Will they be okay with that? Or should I just give them one thing at a time? Sorry, brand new. They still have their chick start, I just feel bad that they are locked up, wish they could free range, but we still have a long way to go on the fence. Hopefully we will have a large section done by next week.
 

Rich386

Songster
8 Years
Jul 21, 2011
718
49
123
Live Oak, FL
They are on regular brown dirt, some area's is compacted, but mostly from us walking on it wet/frozen when we were building the coop and run. And then there is tons of dusty, loose dirt in their too. Well since I don't have any grit, I have changed my mind on the corn, I took it out for dinner anyways and figured I would give the girls some too. Maybe I will throw them some lettuce and some strawberries later on today when I start chopping them up for dinner tonight. And I can give them some fresh tomato's too. Will they be okay with that? Or should I just give them one thing at a time? Sorry, brand new. They still have their chick start, I just feel bad that they are locked up, wish they could free range, but we still have a long way to go on the fence. Hopefully we will have a large section done by next week.
My girls were initially in cages and I gave them shell. They gobbled it up like candy. After the coop was finished they were allowed to free range a few hours a day.I hung a feeder with the shell in it in the coop. They hardly eat it at all now. I believe that the birds know what they need and will go for it. So my conclusion is they are getting the grit they need when they are out. They seem happy and healthy.

 

Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
216
216
SE Pa.
Grit is the stones they use in the gizzard to grind their food, the harder the stone the longer it lasts. Oyster shell is for a calcium supplement for better egg shell. Oyster shells being soft, get ground up quickly in the gizzard and need to replaced more often if they have to use them for grit.. When hens can find a harder grit stone they don't need to keep taking the softer oyster shell as much. Yes they can be used for the same purpose, the best function for both is different. You can drive a screw with a hammer, but...
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,098
19,548
857
Southeast Louisiana
Den, there's another issue with oyster shell. Just like our stomach and digestive system produces acid to help digest our food, the chicken's digestive system, including the gizzard, produces acid. That acid can dissolve oyster shell. It's not just the oyster shell being soft that makes it unsuitable for grit, the acid also contributes to that.

Youi are absolutely right that softer rocks get ground up faster than harder rocks and the hens will eat more, but the acid makes a difference too.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom