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Do chicks need grit if fed treats and worms?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sonomachx, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. sonomachx

    sonomachx In the Brooder

    May 4, 2011
    We are new to chickens and recently acquired four chicks. They are now about a week and a half old. They have been eating chick crumbles very well, but we recently started giving them live mealworms as a treat. Three of them love the worms, the fourth is still getting used to the idea. Now that they are eating worms, do they need grit?

  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi sonomachx,

    they shouldn't need grit to digest worms. However it's not a bad idea to supply it anyway (not shell grit, but something like coarse sand or tiny stones).

    They won't eat it unless they need it, and I feel it strengthens the gizzard muscle so they're able to digest a range of foods earlier.

  3. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    We never really gave our chickens grit at all, and they only moved outside to free range at about a month or so of age. So I'd say it should be okay if they do without, for treats and worms.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  4. heybarb

    heybarb Songster

    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    So, what you experienced chicken folks are saying is that if the chicks are outside...they don't need grit because they can find it themselves...right? But if they are staying in the brooder and are given snacks, they do need grit?

    One of my 4 week old chicks found an earthworm yesterday afternoon and the whole flock (all 7 of them) chased her everywhere trying to steal her worm. She didn't even know what to do with it, but she did manage to gobble it up once everyone left her alone. It was priceless to watch! My daughter came home from school and asked how my day was and I had to confess I had spent the last 2 hours sitting in the yard watching our chicks!
    1 person likes this.
  5. Productivity has gone way down 'round here also..[​IMG]
    DuckingLost likes this.
  6. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I put a container of CHICK grit in the brooder after the chicks are a little over a week old and leave itin there from that time on. My are primarily raised in the brooder. They don't get much outside time until they are 8 weeks old. Even if they were getting more outside time they would not get much natural grit because I don't have rocky soil. It is primarily loam and clay.

    Remember that chickens don't have teeth. They need grit in their gizzard to grind up their food (other than chick crumbles).
  7. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    I had the same question. Just got our first chicks yesterday. We've been rehabbing the old garden plot the last 3 weeks at the house we bought last fall. It yielded a bumper crop of grubs - mostly Japanese Beetle but some were more like mealworms. In prior gardens I would just squish them and not think about it. Now I'm thinking "wasted valuable chicken food!!!!". There is more garden space to clear and that will undoubtedly surface more white bodied, tan headed chicken feed. Since this chicken food isn't at all hard 'shelled':

    - at what age can I give the 'bonanza' to the chicks? I think one already ate a small spider at 2 days old ;)
    - since the 12 little fluffies are already running all over everything, including each other, I'm thinking another dish for grit would mostly just get spilled, then picked up and tossed with every "paper towel bedding" replacement, thus wasted. So if they can digest soft bodied grubs without grit, that would seem easier for me. And of course it is all about *me* :)

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