GRIT? Essentual of treat?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by szy.cpr, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. szy.cpr

    szy.cpr In the Brooder

    May 26, 2007
    hi, i hear everyone talking about grit but just wondered if it is a treat or a essentual. They r 5 weeks old,. I have brought some off ebay today incase it is essentuall, advice needed
  2. brooster

    brooster Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    Grit is small stones in the size of pebbles and sand which the chickens eat. these stones go to the gizzard to crush food. Grit is a chickens teath. Range chickens can get stones out of the dirt but chickens inside all the time will olny need grit when given whole or cracked grains. Although you can give it free choice if you wish.
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I usually keep a pan of dirt or sand in my brooder which allows me to feed the older chicks just about anything for treats without having to worry if they are able to digest it.
  4. szy.cpr

    szy.cpr In the Brooder

    May 26, 2007
    Ok thanks, im just so paranoid im not going to know about something that they need and make them sick, they are so cute and small but they seem really healthy and happy,,,which makes me a happy mummy, no really thanks very much for your help without BYC forum and all ur help i dont think i would have been able to keep them happily and know they r ok......u guys rock!!!!![​IMG]
  5. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Do keep an eye on how much grit they're eating, though. Chicks sometimes go nuts and eat all grit, because they don't know how to 'say nuff' like a grown chicken. You might want to just sprinkle some over their food to be on the safe side.
  6. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    I have plenty of sand in my runs ... So I guess I don't need to buy grit
  7. Akronic

    Akronic In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2011
    So does the grit contain any essential minerals? or is it just used for digesting food in the gizzard, I saw one member using crushed oysters, isnt that a source of calcium? I am planning on starting grouse and i always see them in the morning on the side of the road collecting sand/gravel. my question is....does the grit need to be of the correct mineral content or can i just use any coarse sand. should i be mixing any type of vitamins with their feed or is that what the oyster shells ar for. i know this is an old thread but i didnt wanna start a new one
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Oyster shell is for laying hens, only. It helps replace the calcium loss due to egglaying. Chicks should not have oyster shell as too much calcium is hard on their kidneys.
    All chickens, male or female, laying or not, need grit if their diet includes foods that need "chewing" or grinding up. If the only food you are feeding chicks is their chick starter, they don't need grit. Grit becomes necessary once you start supplementing their chick starter.
    I've seen plain grit, grit with color added (I assume to be more attractive to the birds) and grit with a coating added to add in digestion. Really all they need is just plain ol' grit.
  9. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Regular grit is going to be too large for 5 week olds. You might get the smaller stuff that has sifted to the bottom of the bag for them. Unless you are feeding them treats, they don't need it yet, though. The moment you start giving them anything but chick starter, though, they will need grit.

    As adult laying hens, they will need laying food or flock food plus grit (for grinding food) and oyster shell (for making hard egg shells). I'm wrestling with what kind of food to buy for my pullets now that most of them are laying. I can get flock raiser (19% protein) with less calcium or egg maker (16% protein) with more calcium. I'm limited because they absolutely hate pellets and think they should get crumble all the time.
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Some of my layer is only 14% or 15% and I'm trying to switch to a grower for the hens and roos, for the extra protein. Not easy to find grower here that is unmedicated and I have to drive 50 miles to get flock raiser. I'm not impressed with layer feed. I've read that commercials use 14% because higher protein reduces egg production. Ugh.

    Grit -- I'm convinced it should be offered separately and should be granite. I also never buy grit for youngsters as there are always smaller size pieces in the bottom of the bag. Have read on here may times that free range birds don't need grit. I have real doubts about that. Here the "stone" on the ground is limestone which is much too soft to help them grind their food, I believe. If you have a granite stone driveway that they forage in, they probably don't need store bought grit. I feel it depends on locale, your local hard stuff available to them. I don't believe sand is large enough for mature birds to use as grit. I have no real proof, these are just impressions I've formed from reading on here, particularly about crop problems. In 4 years I've never had a problem with a crop. When processing, crops are full of store bought grit.

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