Can my ladies eat too much sand?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LaneHill, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    A quick question (before I start to panic.... oh wait, too late I'm panicking a bit already)
    This evening I put sand (the nontoxic stuff kids can play in) in the ladies run for them to use as a dust bath.
    Each & every one of them ran to it & started eating it like I had just brought them treats & they won't stop!?
    In your experience, can they get sick from too much, because honestly I mean gobbling it up like I hadn't fed them in weeks!
     
  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    How old are your ladies? It might be that they are needing grit and attempting to get it from the sand. The sand will not be what they need though. Grit is available in chick size and hen size.

    I give our girls both sizes in a dish for free choice. Sometimes they gobble it up and other times they let it sit until they need it. They need grit to digest whole grains, greens, bugs and scraps you may give them. If they are on commercial feed only then they usually do not need the grit.


    Hope this helps.
     
  3. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    They are all about 15-16 weeks old.
    They get commercial feed, scraps, oyster shell, whatever bugs they find while milling about & *ick* let's not forget the unfortunate frog that they discovered in their run yesterday. (Let's just say that after watching them play keep away with the frog I don't ever want to get on their bad side)
    I feel better knowing yours sometimes do the same, but I'm also thinking I may have to add some grit for them to pick at. I didn't know it came in a smaller size for younger chickens. [​IMG]
     
  4. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    I think yours are ready for the regular size grit. You might want to get both sizes and give it to them to see which they prefer at that age.

    If you are not free ranging them then they are definitely not getting the grit they need. Ours are primarily in the run all day with the floor being dirt with sand and pine shaving on top of the dirt. Most anything other than commercial feed requires grit so their gizzard can break down the food. We let them out one at a time while supervising until we build a paddock for them.

    I'm new to raising chickens but have done a lot of reading and lurked on this site for months before joining. Keep getting educated and learn what the ladies want and need and you will find there is much less panic when you think something is out of whack. I remember the first time I saw them sunning and dust bathing. I thought they were sick and freaked out until one got up and walked away like nothing was wrong. Until we get used to their habits there will be those moments. It is great that this forum is here for all those things that can cause a scare.
     
  5. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    Quote:[​IMG] My daughter did the same thing! She thought it was having a seizure & came screaming for me!
    Luckily I did remember the sunbathing thing from my grandfather's chickens. Unfortunately I seem to have forgotten more than I remember on just about everything else [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the help [​IMG]
     

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