Got grit with charcoal?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by theabee, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. theabee

    theabee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2013
    I was at Agway ordering chicks and saw this gravel. It was only about a dollar so I got it, thinking I could use it for grit for my chicks once they started getting treats.

    But later, I looked at the back and it says it contains oyster shell and charcoal:

    I know that oyster shell is not good for baby chicks, because it weakens their bones or whatever, and it seems to contain a lot:

    So now I'm thinking it would work as their calcium supplement when they grow up, with a bit of added grit in there. My question is, will they be fine with the charcoal? The box says it "combats hyperacidity and sweetens the stomach," but this was made for Parakeets, Cockatiels, and Parrots. There doesn't seem to be a lot of charcoal in the mix, but I know it makes dogs throw up. I could separate it by putting it in water and letting the charcoal float and the rest sink, but... more work... and if charcoal is beneficial, that would be nice.

    So, is charcoal fine for chickens in small amounts?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Small amounts are fine. It detoxifies. The oyster shell/excessive calcium is a no-no for non laying birds. It doesn't soften bones. It overloads the kidneys and then causes gout and other organ problems.
    I would save it for when your birds start to lay.

    Oyster shell and grit need to be offered in their own containers.

    Grit for chickens comes in 3 sizes. #1 for chicks to about 6 weeks, #2 for chicks to about 12 weeks and #3 for adult birds.
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    to help her offspring grow and thrive but grit is not one of these substances.

    I always start chicks off with grit as their first meal. I would feed about one heaping teaspoonful of this grit free choice on a clean piece of cardboard and follow it up in about one hour with dry oatmeal and a well crumbled hardboiled egg. (say for 10 or 12 chicks) By day two or three I begin feeding grower and small grains, like wheat, oats, corn chops, millet, barley, and sorghum.

    You'll get a blast out of watching your new born chicks scratching in the grit and scattering it to the 4 winds.
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    personally I use a different kind of grit that is just for chicks
    and that is the only grit I would ever use ..

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