Chick grit question.... 1st post!


9 Years
Mar 10, 2010
Hi folks,
This is my 1st post. I've been reading, and researching, here for awhile, and now I finally have a question that I can't answer by searching the forums...
My first ever chicks are coming this Friday... We've got their brooder all set up, a coop out back, and all the supplies and everything.
From my reading on BYC i've learned that chicks should be given grit whenever treats and foods other than chick starter are introduced. I also read that parakeet grit can be used.
So I bought some.... but when I got it home I read the box and realized that the grit also contains bits of oyster shell for calcium and little bits of carbon to "sweeten the stomach" (so it says).
Is this OK to give to my chicks?
I think I read that chicks shouldn't have oyster shell, and I have no idea about the charcoal.
Chicks don't need grit for a while. Chick starter should be fine, with maybe a scrambled egg and a bit of yogurt to give them a boost.

I don't think the charcoal would hurt them, since baby chicks eat dirt when they are pecking with momma.
Many advised me as well... If your using chick started you DO NOT need grit.
... this is so much fun. and having all these experts @ our fingertips make it much less stressful
Sometimes, even though they are only "suppose" to be on chick starter, the can use a little grit. Mine usually eat a little paper towel, a few small shavings they pull up around the edges of the paper towel, and even an occasional fluff of down that the little stinkers pull off of each other.

I have the chick grit from TSC, but it looks a lot bigger than sand to me. My 2 month olds eat it like they think it's chicken candy and I have to limit the amount I give them with their treats. I have one 5 day old that seems to stretch his neck, yawning, open and closing his mouth quite a bit. He acts like something is stuck in his throat. I was wondering the same thing about the parakeet grit. I tried to find "play sand, but none of the stores up here carry it in the winter that I have found so far. I think the TSC "chick grit" might be a little too big for the babies??? Anyone ever give it to chicks under a week old?
Once my chicks get treats, I use all purpose "construction" sand, not play sand, for grit for them. Play sand is too fine. The construction sand has little rocks and bits of granite, all different shapes, for them to grind up the other foods.

A 50# bag costs $2.98 at Lowe's. I save some for the chicks, and put the rest in 2 cat litter pans out in the run - in a protected area out of the rain - for the full grown chickens; they use it for dust baths and scratching and getting grit. Every now and then, I toss the pans of sand in one special sunny spot in the run, and refill the pans with fresh construction sand.
Our baby chicks recently got pasty butts. We used sand out of the grandchildrens sand box. Sprinkled a little on, and mixed it with their food. No more pasty butt. Due to weather these were inside a brooder. We have, in the past used just sandy soil from the yard. We have 3 hens running around in our yard with baby chicks who scratch and get their grit from the yard. They probably get tiny seeds and bugs with it. Nature knows best. They are very lively and healthy.

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