Can they eat too much grass?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LittleMissCountry, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. LittleMissCountry

    LittleMissCountry Songster

    933
    1,292
    176
    Mar 30, 2018
    Virginia
    I have been putting our 6 week old chicks out in the portable run each day, but most of our yard is sandy or clay so not much grass. We also have a lot of wild onion growing.
    Today, I put the run in a grassy spot, and the chicks went crazy with the grass. I put their food and water in the run as well, and threw in some chick grit, since this patch didn't have visible sand.
    Can they eat too much? I have heard of them getting crop impaction from eating long grass. I know it is probably a silly question since most chicks that are hen brooded just eat grass from the start, but I am completely new at this and am wondering if there is anything else I need to do to make sure they don't get impacted, other than offer grit.
     
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  2. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

    1,289
    1,795
    267
    Mar 22, 2016
    If they are eating the grass themselves they should only pull off the ends (as opposed to being given cut grass that may be longer blades). This is absolutely fine for them to eat as much as they like. The grit will help digest it but there shouldn't be a problem and grass is good for them. I have had many many chicks with hens over the years as well as free ranging my flock on grass and have never had a bird with an impacted crop from grass.
     
    chickens really and oregonkat like this.
  3. oregonkat

    oregonkat Crowing

    1,918
    2,715
    347
    Oct 5, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    My littles get chunks of short grass with roots and soil attached every day and they absolutely love it.
     
  4. LittleMissCountry

    LittleMissCountry Songster

    933
    1,292
    176
    Mar 30, 2018
    Virginia
    Good to know! I figured that a lot of chickens free range so it couldn't be too much of a problem, but wanted to make sure. Thank you!
     
    chickens really likes this.
  5. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

    328
    406
    151
    Jun 7, 2013
    South Central KY
    One thing to watch for as they get older though is that if they get lots of things other than formulated feed, you may want to add a protein meal a couple of times a week.
    I feed mine FF, with daily greens and some fruit/veg. Started getting fragile yolks. Turns out that with the added greens, they were not getting enough protein. So now, twice a week, I'll mix a can of mackerel in with a feeding.
     
  6. LittleMissCountry

    LittleMissCountry Songster

    933
    1,292
    176
    Mar 30, 2018
    Virginia
    Good to know, thank you!
     
  7. gator75

    gator75 Songster

    365
    241
    186
    Aug 25, 2012
    I get millet seeds (super cheap) at the feed store and plant it, cover it with a screen till its about an inch tall and pull back about a square foot section for my chicks and hens to eat every day.. I think its much preferable to Zoysia or St Augustine. I do the same with clover in the winter but its a bit more expensive.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: