Do oyster shells = grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hennypen, May 15, 2010.

  1. Hennypen

    Hennypen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wondering. I couldn't find grit at TS but did find oyster shells. Is this what newly hatched chicks should get?
     
  2. Liana

    Liana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oyster shells are for stronger shells when hens are of laying age. It is not the same as grit. IIRC, chicks should not get oyster shell.
     
  3. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    No, not the same at all. Oyster shell is for layers, it is extra calcium. You do not want the chicks to have this at all. Grit is to help grind up foods. Chicks should be only on starter feed, and do not need grit for this. Grit needed when they free range or get treats like table scraps, etc.
     
  4. Maren's Marans

    Maren's Marans Out Of The Brooder

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    Oyster shell provides calcium for your laying hens. It contains too much calcium to give before your ladies start laying.
    Grit comes in different sizes, it is crushed granite, the smallest size will say that it can be given to chicks less than 10 weeks. However, they don't need it right away. Wait to provide it until you start giving treats, 2-3 weeks from now. I started with plain yogurt as a treat, no need for grit. Howver if the yogurt had had fruit in it, then I would have provided grit.
    Enjoy.
     
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    I don't bother with grit, but its small stones for chicks for their crop to act as it would be if they eat outside. They ingest bits of dirt and it assists with digestion for the young ones. Totally different then oyster shell which is a calcium boost for laying hens only!
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yelp, the oyster shell is for calcium. It should be given to pullets just as they start laying. Giving it to chicks and non-laying pullets causes damages their kidneys.

    If you will be giving any type of treat that won't turn into "mush" once eaten then the chicks need some grit. You need chick grit, though, and not adult grit (which is larger pieces). Walmart sells a "parakeet" grit that should work BUT make sure it doesn't include oyster shell or some other calcium supplement.

    I would keep the chicks on starter feed for a week or two before introducing treats to them, and then let them be that...only occasional treats. If you give them too many/much treats then the nutritional balance of the carefully prepared feed is thrown off. Right now they need the benefits of that starter feed. If they're allowed outside time in the run or "free ranging" under supervision where they might stumble upon an occasional bug or leafy greens then I'd say they probably need the grit...if they're in their brooder 100% of the time and are given no treats, only starter feed....then don't worry about the grit, they don't need it.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  7. Hennypen

    Hennypen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great info. Thanks.

    Chicks are due on Wed so getting prepped now. [​IMG]
     
  8. Toi-toi

    Toi-toi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have sandy area around my yard.
    That means I have to feed them grit??
     
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It is never a bad idea to offer grit free-choice...if they need it they'll use it.

    Ed
     

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