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Full crop feeding question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by m2wandc, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    At what age do you start to give the chicks oyster shell?

    I went to purchase some and the sales clerk at the feed store said the chicks are too young, but their crops appear to need it?

    It's been two years since I've had chicks and I'm amazed at how quickly some of this information has left my memory!

  2. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Or is it dirt that helps them digest the stuff in their crop? Oh gees the memory is so bad!

    Maybe I don't do anything for the crop at this point?

    They are eating a mashed up recipe of yogurt and hard boiled egg (and a few other tid bits) in addition to a non gmo / non corn commercial feed, per the recommendation of woman who sold them too me.

    The mushy egg and yogurt mix was to help a weak on eat...but the strong ones have had their fair share of it as well....
  3. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Chicks do not need oyster shell. It is only needed by laying hens after they are 4 months old. They may need grit tho if they are eating things besides chick starter. If all they get is the starter they don't have to have grit. Their full crops just means they are eating good.
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Songster

    May 23, 2013
    Oyster shell is used as a calcium supplement for laying hens only. If you have layer feed, it already has the correct calcium so some folks just have oyster shell on the side free-choice.

    What you are looking for is chick grit! They also make hen sized grit (bigger chunks of rock) but I think the oyster shell does the job of grit so I never buy it. Hens need one or the other.

    Chicks need grit to digest anything other than their regular feed crumbles. The tiny rocks of grit go to work in the gizzard, which is a muscle. The gizzard compacts the food with the grit rocks and tears it up into smaller pieces, acting as the chick's teeth.

    Chick grit is really over priced in the feed store, amazon.com is reasonably priced. there's a concentrates type place (buy in bulk) that offers hen and chick grit by the shovel full , that's where I get mine..

    Dirt or soil or sand is used to take dust baths in :) you can get some dirt from outside, or construction sand works well.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  5. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Yep, chick grit if you're feeding anything that needs "chewing". Fruit, veggies, pasta... Plain yogurt and finely mashed, boiled egg don't need chewed and the chick feed is ground finely enough already. I don't believe grit harms chicks if you give it before a certain age but the labeling usually states 8 weeks. I used grit from 3 days of age with porch-kept chicks because they were eating flying insects that landed in the brooder. Those definitely need chewed!
  6. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Thank you....it's all slowly coming back to me...so far what they have had to eat was all small, mashed up and probably just fine...but I think I might grab some grit to have on hand just incase they seem to need it in the near future....

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