Can soil act as grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickster88, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. chickster88

    chickster88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2008
    I am a first-timer and have 3 chicks that now look more like chickens than chicks. They are all feathered and are chicken shaped, though small. I've lost track of time, but I think they are 7 or 8 weeks old!

    We just put them out of the house, and into a backyard coop with run. I planted grass seeds but none have come up yet and the chicks are having fun running on the dirt, which is a combination of Triple Mix and topsoil. Anyway, they're pecking away and eating whatever they're finding on the ground, as well as the chick starter they still like, plus I fed them some worms, and I am wondering: does the dirt in their enclosure act as grit or gravel for their tummies?

    Indoors, once they started on worms, I gave them parakeet gravel, which is a fine sand. Is soil okay, or do we still need the grit, too? I mean, soil is more crumbly and soft.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    It never hurts to have grit available for them. Depending on how much they range, they may or may not need it. But it's cheap insurance to have it available.

    Also, they've probably eaten every single grass seed you planted already. Reseeding + chickens = disaster [​IMG]
     
  3. chickster88

    chickster88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2008
    Thanks for your advice. Ok, I just poured out a little pile for them.

    Re: the grass: I sort of imagined as much! We wanted to keep them indoors until the grass had sprouted at least, but having three in our kids' playroom was just nuts. I figure, worst case scenario, their run has no grass and we'll just plant in some native flowers to make it prettier!
     
  4. teenieborch

    teenieborch Out Of The Brooder

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    I wouldn't spend too much money on plants for the chicken run. My flocks have killed everything growing in their run except the holly bush and the roses that I let grow taller than the chickens can jump. Looks like a nuclear explosion in there. Thank goodness dandylions abound that I can harvest from the rest of my yard for them!
     
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    All my coops/tractors are moveable. Stationary coop + chickens = desert.
     
  6. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    a chickens job is to get their run to dirt.an they pick up enough stuff that they dont need grit.
     
  7. chickster88

    chickster88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2008
    Thanks everyone. I can't move the coop round b/c I have a tiny city backyard and have planted out the rest with fruit trees and perennials and a tiny koi pod, and will be making my main path pea gravel instead of grass. Looks like their run will remain dirt, then!

    The plan was to keep them indoors another 2 weeks until the grass had grown in a bit, but it just wasn't feasible. They grew so big, so fast! I felt bad leaving them in their cage and letting them out for just an hour at a time to run around one room seemed sort of cruel, not to mention messy!

    Anyway, they seem so happy in their run, so dirt or no, I think they'll be fine. Wish I hadn't bought all that triple mix and topsoil now!
     
  8. OzarkCountryGirl

    OzarkCountryGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I let my chickens out to free range last summer and they ran straight for my most expensive perennials and scratched the dirt up all under the plants while creating "dust baths" and in turn exposed all the roots, killing many of the plants. BTW, I still have chickens, and they still run loose, and my plants are all caged. [​IMG]
     
  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. 31665

    31665 Out Of The Brooder

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    Our run and coop area is all stone nice small stones called fines. I do plan on letting the chicks free range. 2 questions
    Is the stone ok?
    How old before I can let the chicks free range.
    Always grateful for your help!
     

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