Can I feed regular grit to chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wsdareme, May 31, 2010.

  1. wsdareme

    wsdareme Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    I bought a bag of grit at the feed store for my chicks. They're 3 weeks old now. I read somewhere that if you feed them anything other than chick starter (grass, bugs, scrambled eggs, etc.) that you need to give them grit to help digest it. But the grit i have looks pretty large for babies. Would it be safe to feed to them, or do I need "chick-sized grit" (I didn't see it at the feed store)? The last thing I want to do is kill them with kindness. [​IMG]
  2. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Ribera New Mexico
    I would wait and see if the feed store can order you some baby grit I think they have such a thing I know they have chick scratch.
    Iwould not feed grit made for grown hens. I have three week old and I'm just now thinking of getting them on grower. But I would be intreseted to know if you can feed grit to them. If they are out side they are proably getting enough from the dirt, sand or what ever else they can find for degistion.
  3. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I have been told that chicks should not be given adult grit until they are at least 12 weeks old. That did seem about right last year. I giving mine chick grit again this year until they are at least 12 weeks old. I doubt the chicks can swallow adult grit. I personally would not try giving it to them.

    There are actually two sizes of adult grit but not many feed stores know the difference. Chick grit is size #1. Adult chicken grit is size #2 and #3. #4 is for larger birds, such as turkeys. I am using #2 for my adults. I understand that #2 and #3 are very similar in size but I don't know for sure.
  4. wsdareme

    wsdareme Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    I went out and checked the bag and it doesn't indicate a size. I'd say the largest pieces are the size of grains of rice, and there are a lot of smaller pieces ranging down to course sand size.

    I tried to put my logical hat on -- if chicks were outside with their momma, they'd be introduced to all sizes of grit to eat. It seems that they would eat what they can swallow and leave the rest. On that thought, and scared now after reading comments that giving your chicks soft treats WITHOUT grit can kill them (and I've given them soft food for 3 days now), I decided that I'd give them some grit and see what happened. I fed it by hand initially because they're comfortable eating out of my hand (and they were leery of the little glass bowl). They seemed to do all right, so I sprinkled a little around the brooder.

    Hope I did the right thing... [​IMG]
  5. BlackBart

    BlackBart Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    I've watched the hens tell their chicks what to eat and they start them off pretty early eating small grit in dirt. So I give my chicks a pan of dirt when they are about a week old. Been doing it for years without a problem.
    I wouldn't give them sand.
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I would wait for chick grit...OR you can do like an old chicken farmer guy told me to do... he said to not waste my money on store bought "chick grit"... he said to just go get some sand/dirt from your yard and give it to them..... its what the babies would eat if they were with their mommy hens and they have survived forever with no help....... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  7. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

    May 15, 2010
    after reading a bunch here on BYC I decided to go with sand for a grit needed then I read
  8. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    My chicks which are out with their Momma - eat all kinds of things and crumbles too. We have a lot of sand and they use that for grit, the smaller bits of oyster, you could buy parakeet grit. I was worried about all kinds of stuff until I watched the momma raise her babies. They are tough little buggers. I was so careful with mine in the brooder and Momma Dot kicks and scratches and babies just learn to get out of the way. When they are not sitting on top of her. Mine Love MEAL worms. Momma Dot takes them out of the container and gives them to the babies - too cute!


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