Chick Grit

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by twoacrefarm, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. twoacrefarm

    twoacrefarm Out Of The Brooder

    71
    9
    43
    Jun 12, 2016
    Indiana
    We have week old chicks that we just switched from straw bedding to wood shavings. The chicks are finding the splinter sized peices and seem to be eating them, which is why we switched from straw. I don't have access to chick grit tonight, is adding a small bowl of sand into the trough ok?
     
  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

    20,514
    14,173
    596
    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    Yes!
     
  3. twoacrefarm

    twoacrefarm Out Of The Brooder

    71
    9
    43
    Jun 12, 2016
    Indiana
    Thanks! I was concerned about them eating the sawdust and my husband said not to worry too much because that is the same bedding they all have at the supply stores, and they don't appear to be dying. Hoping it works!
     
  4. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

    20,514
    14,173
    596
    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    they will be fine girl don't worry too much.
    you can pull a little patch of grass with the dirt attached and they will eat some of the dirt as grit too
     
  5. twoacrefarm

    twoacrefarm Out Of The Brooder

    71
    9
    43
    Jun 12, 2016
    Indiana
    We had chicks for the first time last spring and we just went with the flow, no worrying at all. This year for some reason I'm concerned more, crazy haha!
     
  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    7,616
    1,660
    421
    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    no, no no! Do not feed them sand. It is too small for them.

    Bird of all ages need grit and there is actually much science involved in feeding grit to poultry.

    If they have chick feed and that is all they are eating, they do not need grit right now. Yes, you do need chick grit but it's not critical right now unless you are feeding treats. You should start feeding it to them as soon as possible, tho ( reasons below) . Now when you have a chance, go to Tractor Supply or Agway and buy chick grit. Then you will be wanting to change the size of their grit as they grow. Here is a flyer by one of the oldest makers of poultry grit in the USA ( since 1935). It has a feeding schedule on it which tells what size grit to feed at what age. http://ncgranite.com.cdn.pronetsweb.com/images/gritmailer.pdf
    You will not see any difference in your chicks from feeding them the right size grit at the right time. What is happening is all on the inside. The gizzard muscle (which grinds up their feed for better digestion further down the G.I tract) is growing larger and stronger and healthier from the grit which exercises it. This can mean when the females reach laying age they can lay up to 20% more eggs per bird because the gizzard is working better and the better gizzard-processed feed is making it possible for the G.I tract to uptake more nutrition from the feed. More nutrition, more eggs! I feed Grani-Grit which I get at Agway. It's less than 7.00 for 50 lbs. Most feed stores sell the fancy little 5.lb. bags for 7.00 or more. That 50 will last forever but has lots of uses around the place other than poultry. Or give extra away to your local poultry friends. The reason we feed the largest grit for the bird's age ( see feeding schedule) is because smaller grit then they need will just pass right thru the bird and not help gizzard or pre-digestion.
    We feed sharp edged insoluble grit because of the very high acid content in a bird's gizzard. It is so high that just any rock will not do. insoluble granite grit has 2 things.
    1. Edges stay sharp and are not worn down and rounded out by the acid in the gizzard. Many other types of rock will look sharp but the acid quickly wears down the sharp edges and the stones are not able to be effective grinding up feed. This is why "simple field rocks" aren't the best. And why commercial poultry farmers in the 1930's USA noticed this difference in the number of eggs laid by their hens. They clamored for properly sized granite poultry grit so much they started actually an industry.
    2. Much of it has mica in it which sparkly reflections in sunlight encourage the birds to eat that particular grit.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by