Can I give baby chicks grit for parrots as grit for them ?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by connor97, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. connor97

    connor97 Chillin' With My Peeps

  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I'm sure it would be OK, short-term, but if you feed your chicks a complete Chick Starter Feed, they will not need grit. If they do have an impacted crop, it may help. You could also massage their crop gently.

    It could be a host of other problems, but not enough information was provided to go there.

    However, I would immediately discontinue feeding worms to your chicks, as worms/slugs/etc are carriers of things that a young chick has absolutely no immunity to.

    Also, no veggies. Just feed them a balanced starter ration until they are older.

    Keep us posted. Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    X2 on chicks only need a starter feed. I don't give them anything else until they are ready for outdoors. Then they get treats and worms.

    Not knowing what's going on with your chicks, two things you can provide them in water to try and perk them up is sugar and vitamins. If chicks are weak then the sugar perks them up enough to feed on starter and that in a nutshell is what's giving them strength and vigor. Search about here or on web for vitamin and or sugar amount to water.

    Any symptoms you note besides lethargy would aid others here who are practically chicken veterinarians to give advice.
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I see you posted this a day ago, and needed the advice ASAP, but for future reference- I give my chicks dirt right out of my yard so they can scratch through it and find their own grit. Parakeet grit contains calcium (and the one you used is the high cal version) and calcium is not good for chicks. That's why you don't feed layer feed to babies- the cal. A little isn't going to hurt them, but if left out free choice all the time you might see some issues. I guess the same could be said for dirt from the yard too though, if you live in an area that's prone to cocci. Anyway, good luck with your peepers!
  5. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    You probably did not mean that. Calcium is a necessary ingredient for bone development and muscle control. While it is true that they do not need the 4+% that a laying hen does, they still need it in sufficient quantities. I think that most chick starter has 1% calcium.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I know I’m a bit late but I’ll add a bit. Chicks do need some calcium to grow. Adults need some calcium to maintain their body. The percent calcium is not nearly as important as the total volume of calcium they eat. One bite won’t kill them. I still strongly advise against feeding growing chicks Layer or the bird grit that has enhanced calcium, but if it is a very small part of what they eat it’s not likely to hurt them. If you bought that grit and fed it to them, don’t panic. It’s not a big deal as long as you don’t keep doing it.

    Grit will not help an impacted crop. Grit is used a lot further downstream in their gizzard to help grind up food. It will help prevent an impacted gizzard though. The worms are probably not a problem but the veggies might be. I suggest you not feed them anything other than chick starter until they have had some grit.

    Chick Starter does not contain grit. Chick starter, whether crumbles or mash, is made by grinding up the grains and other components so the chick’s gizzard can handle it. The chick’s gizzard can grind crumbles using other crumbles to get it to a usable consistency. The liquids in the chick’s digestive system will break it down too.

    I personally take some dirt from the chicken run that has some recent adult chicken poop in it and give it to the chicks around Day 2 or 3 in the brooder. To me, this accomplishes several things. It gets grit in the chicks’ system so they can eat whatever they find. They might eat a few wood shavings. Their gizzard will grind that up no problem. A hard-shelled bug may wander into the brooder. They’ll enjoy that snack.

    It gets any probiotics the adult chickens have into the chick’s system. That helps set them up for life in the flock.

    It gets any coccidiosis or other diseases or parasites into their system while they are still in the brooder where I can watch them and control things better. They are going to be hit with those things anyway when they hit the ground. I can watch for things better when they are in the brooder. For some things, coccidiosis being a perfect example, they can better develop the immunity they need when very young.

    I really don’t see a downside to giving them dirt from the run at a very young age. A broody hen does that with her chicks. She will feed them chicken poop, worms, dirt, grit, and about anything else she can find when they first leave the nest. Them eating dirt provides minerals they need. That way they are ready for life with the flock.

    There are many ways to provide grit. Cut a clump of turf and put it in the brooder. They’ll have a great time tearing it apart and eating the grass, roots, and dirt.

    Get construction sand or some other coarse sand. Don’t use play sand. Play sand is too fine and it will go right through their system.

    You might be able to find chick grit at the feed store. This is granite that is screened from the waste at a granite quarry so you get the right size they need. Granite is real hard so it lasts quite a while in their system. They can use other rocks too but granite is top quality grit.

    You can gather stuff from a gravel road or gravel driveway. Adult chickens use grit up to the size of a pea. Baby chicks need smaller chunks but they will pick out what they need. Try to use smaller pieces of gravel but don’t obsess over it. Give the chicks some credit. They’ll work it out.

    Hope everything has worked out for your chicks. Good luck!!!

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