Feeding Grit, how much, how often


Jul 3, 2016
Hi Everyone,
After reading numerous threads on the subject of feeding grit, I am still somewhat confused. My chicks are now 6 weeks old, have been out in their coop and large run for a couple of weeks now. They are eating their starter feed along with grass, bugs, treats etc. We have rich soil that is somewhat sandy (I don't see any pebbles in it). Some have said once they have access to dirt no grit is necessary, but others have said if your dirt is sandy soil (no pebbles like mine) you still need to give them grit. Do I give grit or not??

Also, some say to put a little grit into their feed, others say to offer it in a separate dish freely. I have been giving them grit trying both ways. Which is better? It seems when I offer it freely, they gobble it up like it is a treat so I am concerned about leaving a full bowl of it out in their run. I have read that they will only eat as much as they need, but others have said they can get too much and get a impacted gizzard. I don't want to do anything that will hurt my new chicks. So back to the original question, do I give grit or not and if so, how much and how often? Thanks so much!


Mar 10, 2016
We have sandy soil. I add age appropriate grit to our chickens feed. Have 2 separate coops at the moment so am adding grower grit to the young ones and layer grit to the hen's feed (grit comes in different sizes). It is personal choice how you add your grit. I do not see how dirt could replace different size pebbles or grit as it's purpose is to grind up food in the gizzard, and I don't see dirt being able to do that.
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Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Unless one of your chicks seems to have an issue stuffing itself with grit, they should be able to decide for themselves how much they need. They might seem to be taking in a lot if they haven't had it offered to them regularly. One of mine seems to pick up more grit than the other birds but so far no issues, and she's now slowed down a lot on grit intake as well since I switched to a larger sized grit.

You can offer it in a cup on the side or sprinkle a little on their food. Not sure if there's a "right" way but I've done it both ways and it doesn't seem to make a huge difference. Now that mine are older and I know for sure they know where their grit cup is, I only offer it on the side.

Either way, they do need to get some grit since it helps them break down their food. Especially as they get bigger they'll be wanting larger grit, which sounds like something your soil won't be able to sufficiently offer.

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