confused on when to give grit and first scraps

samana

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
46
3
34
I opened my manna pro chick grit bag and the size of it is huge! It also says wait until 2 weeks.

BUT..everyone here says you can give scraps at 3-5 days old, and now another BUT...you have to provide grit a day or so ahead of time before giving scraps. Am I missing something haha?

So how does this work?? - do I crush it for them so it's more like sand? Do I give them scraps that don't need grit? (And what would those be, soft stuff like bread or milk??) I am really looking forward to giving them scraps. My chicks are 5 days old.

As a side question - I've seen lists of safe scraps for chickens, is everything on those lists safe for baby chicks or should I stick with things I feel are easier, softer food (and not something hard like raw cabbage or something).
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,792
18,688
857
Southeast Louisiana
I provide grit at three days age, but I just gather coarse sand from the run and put it in the brooder. You can probably sift through that stuff and just give them the smaller bits or you can crush it to sand-sized pieces. Other than things like yogurt or boiled eggs, they should get grit before you feed them any treats.

You should give them either things that are pretty small or things like a cabbage leaf that they have to peck out small chunks. What you want to avoid is something like blades of grass that can get wrapped around and stuck in their crop. If they have grit, they can handle grass and such, but you don't want it to get wadded up and cause an impacted crop. Little 1/2" or so bits of grass are fine, just don't give a lot.

Also, don't be surprised if they don't rush over and eat whatever you put in. A lot of the time, they are scared of new things and it takes a while for one to build up the courage to try thngs. But once one tries it, the others get brave real fast.

Last summer, I gathered a cup full of corn ear worms when harvesting my sweet corn. I dumped them out near my 11 week old chicks that had been free ranging a few weeks. They gathered around to look at them and some would slowly approach. Then a worm would wiggle and they would run away. Slowly, some would start approaching ever so carefully, then another worm would move. Finally, one got the courage up to try one. Within 30 seconds, all the worms were gone.
 

samana

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
46
3
34
Ok I will try hammering it a bit to get the grit finer.

Why would the bag suggest not to use until 2 weeks?

I have read some chicks will stuff themselves with too much grit and can die- would this be why they say to wait? Should I be waiting?

Eager to get started on the scraps but nervous about it all, so new to all this, thanks for the input I do appreciate it
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homesteadinmama

Chirping
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
199
2
99
Merrimack
You can put it in there. It may take them til they are 2 weeks to be brave enough to actually eat any
wink.png
They shouldn't OD on it, they will eat just what they want. Might even have more fun dusting in it than eating it. Good luck!
smile.png
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,792
18,688
857
Southeast Louisiana
Quote:
No, for two reasons.

1. Egg shells are just not hard enough to grind much of anything else up. They will not work as grit. Same with oyster shell. Oyster shell does not work as grit with much of anything. The chicken's digestive tract has acid in it, just like humans, and that acid dissolves the oyster shell. I'm not sure how well that acid would dissolve egg shells, but I suspect it would. So egg shells and oyster shell should not be used as grit with any aged chicken. It just does not work.

2. Egg shells contain a lot of calcium. If growing chicks get an excess of calcium, it can damage their kidneys or cause bone deformation. That is why you do not feed Layer to growing chicks.
 

CariLynn

Songster
9 Years
Aug 23, 2010
232
5
101
State of confusion
We gave our peeps grit by the first week, mine are with a hen and she has been really good about showing them that if the tall humanoid comes over, she has food and will be throwing something yummy inside. She will also shake things apart for the peeps. I do watch on some things and try to give more soft food than anything that would take pecking and pulling apart.
 

jcf3202

Songster
10 Years
Apr 16, 2010
203
12
149
Echo Spring Acres ~ SW PA
Glad you asked this, I was searching on here for the same question. I've read that you can buy Parakeet grit at a pet store to use, it's supposed to be crushed finer. I'll be running to the pet store in a few hours to look at it. If you want, I can let you know what I find out.
 
Valley Hatchery

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