chick grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hensonly, May 29, 2008.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY

    I posted a similar question on the raising chick thread, thought I'd repeat it here as maybe a better place for it:

    My RIRs are 4 weeks. I'd like to start giving them small amounts of "treats" like fruit, veggies, etc. However - would I need to give them grit? If so, what kind - all the grit I've seen is oyster shells, or at least has some shell in it. Would that be too much calcium for my babies? I read that too much calcium in young chicks can shut down their kidneys. On one bag, it said not to give it before 10 weeks...

    I've also read on this forum about giving chicks a pan of dirt from the run they will inhabit to get them used to that environment of germs, etc. Is this a good idea, if so at what age?

    Also, is there anything I shouldn't give them (other than the obvious contaminated food)?

    I do not have them on medicated feed, but they get Terramycin in their water. At what age should I stop this? And should I just stop, or taper off gradually so their own immune systems have time to gear up?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. FourFussyHens

    FourFussyHens In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2008
    If I understand correctly, they don't need extra calcium until they are close to laying. The calcium you feed replaces the calcium they use to make egg shells.

    I don't think they need much grit until they're eating seeds and things that need to ground up in their crop. Maybe just a little to 'practice'?

    If you start feeding extras, common sense says to start with small amounts and watch their poops. If it changes much (like diarrhea), back off. Diarrhea is a big killer of young animals.

  3. ChixFlix

    ChixFlix In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Lake Worth, FL
    I've got a question:

    If my chickens are outside a lot and eating the sand/dirt we have here in FL, do they also need grit?

    I haven't given them any yet. They always peck at the sandy dirt (OK, it's all sand!) and seem to be thriving.

    Any ideas?
  4. starbrite

    starbrite In the Brooder

    May 25, 2008
    South Brittany, France
    Living close to the coast here in South Brittany, when ever I or friends visit the beach we pick up oyster shells, I just smash these up between two stones in the chicken area, the chicks love them.

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