Chicks and Grit...this is making me crazy!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by twinmom+1VT, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. twinmom+1VT

    twinmom+1VT Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2010
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    So, my 6 chicks are 5 weeks old now and they're doing great. They're only getting organic chick mash since I can't find grit anywhere! I went yesterday to a farm store and they sold me dolomitic limestone and said I could use that as chick grit. Came home and read on the internet that that would kill them so naturally I didn't give them any. I did find a store that's an hour away that sells grit and I'm almost at the point where I'm going to throw all my kids in the car (3 under 3) and drive up there to get some. I really want to start introducing new foods but everything I read says don't do it without grit. If I were to put them out in the grassy yard, would they find some? Can I even put them in the yard on the grass without giving them any grit yet? This grit thing is making me a little nuts!
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    twinmom+1VT :

    So, my 6 chicks are 5 weeks old now and they're doing great. They're only getting organic chick mash since I can't find grit anywhere! I went yesterday to a farm store and they sold me dolomitic limestone and said I could use that as chick grit. Came home and read on the internet that that would kill them so naturally I didn't give them any. I did find a store that's an hour away that sells grit and I'm almost at the point where I'm going to throw all my kids in the car (3 under 3) and drive up there to get some. I really want to start introducing new foods but everything I read says don't do it without grit. If I were to put them out in the grassy yard, would they find some? Can I even put them in the yard on the grass without giving them any grit yet? This grit thing is making me a little nuts!

    LOL, I had to quote your post or I would have missed some of it. Dang, that's a lot of questions!

    Don't know about the limestone. What does the package say?

    I don't give chicks any treats until I move them outside at about 8-12 weeks. Then they are sandy runs and get plenty of grit from scratching around. Chicks don't NEED treats. They are EXTRAS.

    You CAN put them out if the temp is right. Make sure they have food and water available. If they can get to the soil, fine. If not, get some grit or sprinkle sand in the pen. Start them slowly, just 30 minutes at a time.

    Stop worrying so much.​
     
  3. Supermommy486

    Supermommy486 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't help with most but you can go to your local hardware store and buy play sand (we use quick create) as long as it hasn't been treated and use that as grit. The chicks LOVE it and like to have a dust bath every once in a while.
     
  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I am different than Ranchhand - sorry [​IMG]

    I give my chicks on day 3 of their lives a container of sand - comes from my yard but you can get it at any home improvement store. Just sand, does not need to be anything "special". The chicks will bathe and scratch in it and pick out what they want. Do not worry, they will not over fill on sand, what their gizzard needs will be kept and the rest pass thru. You can also collect "dirt" from the yard and give it to them in a dish (small rocks/sand is great).

    If you put them out on the grass, make sure there is a little dirt area where they can scratch and peck.


    I also give my chicks treats starting early - it is what my broodies do.
     
  5. twinmom+1VT

    twinmom+1VT Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2010
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    Thanks for the answers!
    @ranchhand - i know I need to stop worrying about them, same thing my husband keeps saying [​IMG]
     
  6. xyresicchick

    xyresicchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wow...i cant believe ANYONE would sell you lime for grit! some people really need to be educated before they're allowed to sell stuff.

    play sand is good. my chicks LOVE their sandbox. they roll in it, eat it, and have a blast in it. i'd never give them lime... lime is even caustic to HUMANS!
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I use all purpose sand, or "construction" sand, as sold in 50# bags at any home improvement store. It's got different sized little bits of pebbles, granite chips, all sorts of good things for grit, unlike play sand, which is very fine. (I like to watch the chickens pick out different bits, pecking this or that small stone. What can I say - I'm easily entertained!)

    My chicks also get treats starting with the second week. And since I like to buy them a week old..... they get treats pretty much from the beginning.

    Some of the rest of the bag o' sand is shared between two kitty litter trays in covered areas, for scratching and dust baths when the rest of the run may be muddy. Then I just empty the bag in their favorite scratching/sunning spot.
     
  8. MaineChick

    MaineChick Out Of The Brooder

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    We did some construction last year that involved concrete, so had a load of gravel and a load of sand dumped off the driveway. My big chickens love it! It's part of their daily circuit around the house and yard whenever it's sunny out. They stop and have huge, wing-flapping, cluck-and-gossip dust baths there. And they munch a bit, too, although the soil is fairly sandy around here anyway. So for the little chicks, I just grabbed some of the finer stuff, stuck it in a kitty litter pan, and that goes in their pen. They fight over whose turn it is in there. It's basically just dirt and sand, and they do just fine on it.

    Outside they will probably find enough grit on their own, unless your grass is on pure clay and loam.
     
  9. stuhayes2010

    stuhayes2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 14 chickens at 4 months of age and just bought some 2 week old chicks. As an experiment, I just let the young ones graze like the older flock. They're doing great. All 26 birds graze all day long and then at sun down, they're back into the coop ready to be locked up for the night. I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now, no fatalities.
     
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Most places don't carry chick size grit anyway. The grit you find will likely be sized for adult or near adult chickens. Just use sand or if you have a gravel driveway scoop up a handful off the edge with some smaller bits in it.
     

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