Do chickens need grit?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Kristin228, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Kristin228

    Kristin228 Out Of The Brooder

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    Do they need it? If so, why? When can you start giving it to them and how often? I just wasn't sure I'd love to hear some feedback. Thanks!
     
  2. MissNutmeg

    MissNutmeg Overrun With Chickens

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    They should always have access to grit. Grit actually helps break down food in the crop.
     
  3. Kristin228

    Kristin228 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's what I thought. When are they old enough to have it? Can they have it even as lil baby chicks?
     
  4. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they're just eating chick starter they don't need it as that's broken down enough for them already. If they're getting any other extras (scraps, treats, forage), then they need grit to help digest. That being said, if they free range at all, they're probably finding it on their own. I've never provided grit...as chicks they only have starter and then are let loose to range after that. They pick up grit out on their own.
     
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  5. Kristin228

    Kristin228 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay thanks for the advice!
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    While chicks fed a chick starter ration don't NEED grit. They desire and benefit from it. It helps develop the gizzard. Usually chickens on pasture can find enough on their own but chicks in a brooder don't have that option.
    All birds need grit so when the gizzard contracts to grind feedstuffs, the grit helps to break it up.
    For years, I didn't offer grit till they were on pasture or eating scratch. However I gave a group of chicks about 5 weeks old a container of grit and they consumed it in a day.
    Since then, I started sprinkling a bit of chick grit on their feed the first week and then provide a separate container starting at the second week.
    I sold a bunch of day old chicks to a friend and she ended up with a bunch of cockerels. I traded her one of my pullets for one of her cockerels.
    Shortly thereafter, I butchered some of the cockerels including the one she raised. My cockerels' gizzards were twice the size of hers.
    Keep in mind there are 3 sizes of grit for chickens and they graduate to the next size pretty quickly.
    I think chick grit is only for the first 5-7 weeks of age.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  7. Kristin228

    Kristin228 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay thank you so much this helped me out a lot[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    While this is technically true, there is more to it than that. The introduction of age appropriate grit at the various stages of development is key to the development of the digestive organs. This is one very good thread that discusses the importance of grit, even in early stages when feed is water soluble https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry
     
  9. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    I started my chicks on grit at one week old (2 days ago). They appear to really enjoy it.
     
  10. Kristin228

    Kristin228 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay thank you
     

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