Feeding chicks?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by BigCountry01, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. BigCountry01

    BigCountry01 In the Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    Im new to raising chickens, and I was wondering if you need to feed grit to chicks or is the chick starter all they need? Thanks in advance!

  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    This is one of those questions to which there are a couple of answers. The first answer is that as long as you are feeding only water soluble commercial feeds (starter, grower and layer) there is no "need" for grit as the feed is able to be fully digested without grit -- this is why commercial laying houses do not have to supply grit to their birds. However, if/when feed such as scratch grains, etc that is not water soluble is introduced, grit is needed for proper digestion.
    Then there is the answer that even when feeding ONLY water soluble feed there are advantages to offering age appropriate grit to birds. This is discussed here https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry
  3. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Songster

    May 2, 2012
    I can only speak to my single experience raising chicks. I had them on starter crumbles and one of the chicks got pasty butt. After I cleaned up the pasty butt, I put a dispenser with garden dirt in it into the brooder and that was the end of the pasty butt for any of them.

    I've got some more chicks due in two weeks and this time I'm going to put the dirt in there from day one.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I only feed prepared starter feed to chicks and I never used to offer grit to them. Even though the grains/legumes in starter feed have been ground, there are still some visible particles of grain in there. I also became aware of how they crave it and it helps develop the gizzard.
    For the last couple years or more I offer appropriate sized grit to all ages and actually sprinkle a little #1 on chicks feed the first week.
    Last year I processed a couple cockerels. One I had raised, the other was the same age and breed that a friend had raised from my eggs that she hatched. I was surprised to find the gizzard on my cockerel was almost twice the size of that in her bird.
  5. ftfarmer22

    ftfarmer22 Songster

    Mar 3, 2016
    You don't have to use grit at all, Its optional. However, I would recommend giving some to your chicks when their older. Right now I would just stick to the chick starter. Hope this helps!

  6. BigCountry01

    BigCountry01 In the Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    Thanks yall for all the info and advice!

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