Chicks and Grit

Sunshine009

Chirping
Jun 9, 2017
48
45
54
Hi,
I'm very excited to be getting chicks soon. As I've been doing research, I've noticed a lot of controversy surrounding how to introduce grit into a chick's diet.
Some people say they leave the grit in a separate dish for them to pick through, though some say they'll eat too much of it and make themselves sick.
Others say you can sprinkle it on their food like salt or mix some in, though some say they won't get enough this way.
Still others say to just spread some on the ground of their brooder with some seed for them to pick through.
Even more - some people just say to take them out, even as young chicks, in the yard for an hour or so to peck through the dirt and pick up some grit themselves.
I even heard one person say they just use soil as the base for their brooder to allow them to get grit that way.
And finally, some people say they don't need it at all, considering all they're eating is mash that doesn't require further grinding.

I realize I'm going to get a lot of mixed answers by asking your various opinions on this. But I'd still like to hear people's thoughts so I can get an idea of what to do myself. What works? What solutions do you think are better than others? Which are just plain stupid?

Thanks!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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I never give grit to chicks. When they are about 2-3 weeks of age I start giving them sod clumps from my yard to get them used to what's in my soil and to give them something to do, so they probably get something from that.

I have on occasion given chicks a bowl of sand. They love rolling around in it, and I assume they eat some. So chicks don't need grit when eating a ration in general but you can offer some if you want.
 

X_and_Z

Songster
Feb 16, 2018
207
404
116
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop
On the first day I sprinkled both food (Scratch & Peck starter - not a crumble or pellet so grit is required) and chick grit on the floor* in addition to offering grow gel on a saucer and water with probiotics and electrolytes in a nipple drinker - I was a bit paranoid about shipping stress. After I was sure they were eating and looking healthy and perky I offered both food and grit in separate containers. It worked well and they were eating treats like broccoli and live mealworms within a couple of days.

If you are just feeding crumbles you don't need to offer grit at all or until much later.

*The floor was covered with grip shelf liner over puppy pads. I moved to sand after the first 2 weeks.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,553
21,032
867
Western Ohio
My chicks are 3.5 weeks old. They have Chick grit in a separate shallow bowl. It is “eaten” by them and we refill it every so often. They’ve gotten a few treats, but not much. I have provided them with a few clumps of dirt and grass to scratch through. I gave them grit at the beginning of week 2 and the first soil a few days later.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,017
4,806
356
Illinois
The day before I gave them their first treat I put it in a small bowl. The 4 chicks and 3 ducks pecked at it as needed. They did not go over board. Now I put some in the bowl and spread some out. The ducks get it mixed on the food during the day and grab some out of the bowl at night.

I did bring in a good amount of dirt today. I left and came back, it was gone. It did not take them long to figure that out.
 

Sunshine009

Chirping
Jun 9, 2017
48
45
54
Will spreading a little bit of grit on their food do them any harm? I might just to be on the safe side.
So I'm hearing a lot of different ways to introduce grit. Some say just dirt from your backyard will be fine - do most of you agree with that?
I'm hearing sand as well - what kind of sand can you buy? Does it have to be specialized for can you just use play sand?
Would commercial chicken grit work for chicks?
@Ol Grey Mare ... I'd love to use this, but unfortunately coming from canada, I'm limited it what I can buy. I can't seem to find anywhere to buy starter or grower grit... But thank you for the suggestion.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,553
21,032
867
Western Ohio
Will spreading a little bit of grit on their food do them any harm? I might just to be on the safe side.
So I'm hearing a lot of different ways to introduce grit. Some say just dirt from your backyard will be fine - do most of you agree with that?
I'm hearing sand as well - what kind of sand can you buy? Does it have to be specialized for can you just use play sand?
Would commercial chicken grit work for chicks?
@Ol Grey Mare ... I'd love to use this, but unfortunately coming from canada, I'm limited it what I can buy. I can't seem to find anywhere to buy starter or grower grit... But thank you for the suggestion.


Here is what we have here, Then there is a larger size for full grown birds.
Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 7.40.26 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 7.40.42 PM.png
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,206
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Wisconsin
All of my birds get grit from the great outdoors. We do put gravel in their shed as a base and they consume that. I don't generally give grit to chicks but go ahead and add some if you want in any form that you want. I have given them regular old sand for messing around in. Nothing special.
 

Sunshine009

Chirping
Jun 9, 2017
48
45
54
Thanks @oldhenlikesdogs ! Do you think sand is safe to spread on their feed a bit? Is there a special grade/type of sand you use? And up until what age do you think sand works? I think my chicks will already be 3 weeks when I get them.
@Acre4Me , I can't seem to find a canadian seller of this, at least not online... Where are you finding it?
Thanks again to all of you!
 
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