grit for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by teach4fun, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. teach4fun

    teach4fun New Egg

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    Jul 11, 2010
    I'm a newbie. Our flock of 25 chicks are 6 days old. The instructions I read said to give them chick sized grit by now, but I can't find any. Then I read they don't need grit while they are just on chick starter. Can we use aragonite?
    Sue
     
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    As long as you are only feeding chick starter - - no other foods or treats - - your chicks don't need grit.

    I usually keep mine on chick start ONLY for the first 2 months because of the nutrition. Chick starter has higher protein for their little GROWING bodies. If you feed them something else, then they will eat less starter. Most of your supplemental foods are lower protein and therefore not as good for the chicks as the starter is.
     
  3. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you think you need to feed grit go to a pet store and get a small box of parrot grit for your chicks. Use sparingly and a little bit goes a long way--you won't need much before they will advance to the adult stuff. I just toss it on the floor of the brooder and let them pick it up as needed--don't put on top of their food since they will fill up on it. As the previous post says, as long as you're feeding starter you won't need it but if you toss in fiber stuff like grass etc, you should. If you free range your birds they should get enough dirt, sand, and pebbles to so they don't need your help.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As everyone else has said, you do not need to give them grit if all they eat is the chick starter. I personally like to give them grit on about their third day since by then they should have figured out what their main food source is. They may not need it, but their digestive system is set up to work a certain way. Why not go along with that if you can. Besides, I like for them to have grit to help their system if they eat anything other than the chick starter, for instance if a hard shelled bug wanders into their area or maybe they eat some of the wood shavings or whatever you use as bedding. It would be nice if that could pass through their system. Many people do not give their chicks grit and they do fine. It is your personal choice.

    Be careful of the grit from the pet shop. Some of the parakeet grit contains extra calcium which is bad for a growing chick. Read the ingredients label carefully.

    For chick grit, I sometimes use construction sand, the coarse stuff, not the fine smooth play sand. I have also been known to go to a gravel road or driveway and collect some sand and small pebbles. If you roads are salted for ice this is not a good idea since they cannot handle the extra salt well either.

    Good luck!
     
  5. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i also use coarse builders sand washed, but most my chicks get fibre in there diet fairly early (is just habit). parraot grit works as well as coarse sand but costs alot more and i am tight!
     
  6. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    I switched my 6 day old chicks off paper towels this am because the kept scratching the paper towels into the water and getting their bedding wet. They also kept shredding the paper towels and eating them. So now they are scratching up a storm and eating tiny pieces of shavings. I bought some parakeet grav that contains, but is not mainly comprised of, oyster shell. Is this ok to use, or is it ixnay on any and all oyster shell?

    Rachel
     
  7. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chillin' With My Peeps

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    personaly for chicks i would keep away from oyster shell, obviously it entirely depends on how much calcium is in the feed you give them, as its impossiable to know what everyone feeds there chicks then the best advice is to generaly avoid adding extra calcium such as oyster shell, try coarse sand (rinse it) its alot cheaper and every bit as good as well as being totaly safe to use
     
  8. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I have read some articles that say it is bad to give the chicks oyster shell because of the calcium. Too much calcium to early is bad for chick developement.
     
  9. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    I couldn't find any coarse builders sand, but I did find some paver sand that was more coarse than regular sand. Can I use it?

    Thanks,

    Rachel
     
  10. squiqwe

    squiqwe Out Of The Brooder

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    I am using fine sand. I mounded some right in the middle of their pen. I also read that fine sand could be used. My girls are 4 weeks old and they love clover,small worms and especially corn tassles:love
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010

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