Grit or no grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hiedi, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Hiedi

    Hiedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I have a question about whether to give grit to baby chicks or not. This is my first time raising chickens. I have heard many different opinions about this. My pullets are only three weeks old. For food, I am giving them Start & Grow (medicated) and also a very small amount of instant oatmeal, basically for treats only. I am starting to let them go outside some on warm days. I have noticed that they are picking up and eating some things in the grass, and they are also very interested in eating dirt. I am assuming this is normal. Will they pick up enough grit in the soil so I don't have to worry about giving them supplemental grit? Thanks in advance.

    ~Hiedi
     
  2. RobinEgg

    RobinEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2008
    They will pick up grit but I usually offer mine some grit , which is probably overkill or over cautious, but once they get outside and start eating things that need to be ground up , say bug legs, I like to be certain they have the grind power.
     
  3. Hiedi

    Hiedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2008
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    Thanks for the information. The only grit that I have been able to find at pet stores has calcium in it. I was under the impression that calcium was not good for the chicks. The farm supply store has large 50 pound bags, but that is for older birds. The guy there told me the chicks do not need grit at this age, but other sources that I have read say to give grit. I called Purina Mills and the person there told me the Start & Grow (that I am feeding my chicks) does not have grit in it, and she also told me that the chicks do not need the grit right now. This is very confusing...
     
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I believe that if you are feeding them a processed chick starter you do not need grit. If you start giving them other things they will need grit. If they are going outside and pecking at the dirt they will probably be getting enough grit.

    Calcium in grit, I don't know. It almost sounds like oyster shell rather than grit. Two completely different things.
     
  5. Hiedi

    Hiedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:One store in my area has Chick Grit, but it does have calcium in it.

    Poultry Feed; Grit Small Type; Calcium (min) 10.00%, Calcium (max) 12.00%, Salt (min) 1.00%, Salt (max) 2.00%, Charcoal 1.20%

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Back to label reading. That is more calcium than in my layer mix and they say don't give layer mix to chicks because of the calcium. I can't find my bag of chick grit.

    Wonder if don't give layer mix to chicks is because of something besides calcium.
     
  7. Hiedi

    Hiedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a bag of the Chick Grit mentioned above just to get a better look at it. The ingredients say: Ground Granite Grit, Anise, Red Color (Iron Oxide).

    The directions say: Provide free choice next to feed or mix 1 lb with 20 lbs of feed. Provide to young birds up to 10 weeks of age.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  8. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I think I bought the same stuff but I can't find it.

    There is so much information out there and some of it is conflicting. The grit proponents say give the chicks grit (maybe profit motivated). This grit is real high in calcium. Others say don't give your chicks layer feed because the calcium will mess up the chicks. Grit mix is higher in calcium than the layer ration.

    What's the deal? The more I read the more confused I get.
     
  9. Hiedi

    Hiedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was doing a search on the internet about giving grit to chicks. Guess what? The search brought me back to my post here in this thread. This is too funny! I guess that I have come full circle. [​IMG]

    I bought a book called Avoid the Vet: How to keep your birds healthy and happy. Here is what the book says about grit: "Chicks should be given insoluble grit (either granite or flint); introduced at a few days of age, and fed in small quantity every week. This will help develop a strong gizzard, and prevent associated digestive problems. As the birds grow, coarser grit should be offered."

    Apparently, there are two kinds of grit, soluble and insoluble. The main ingredient in the Chick Grit that I bought is Granite, which is insoluble from what I can tell. If the grit is insoluble, I am "guessing" that it will not be dissolved into the digestive system of the bird. That is what I have concluded from all this. DISCLAIMER: I could be wrong. [​IMG]

    I really fell like I should give my chicks some grit as a precautionary measure because I am witnessing them eating stuff in the grass, and I am concerned they will not be able to digest it without grit. Therefore, I have decided to give the Chick Grit. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  10. dakotasnake

    dakotasnake Out Of The Brooder

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    i regulary " salt " chick feed with chick grit and have never had any problems untill there old enuff to open the barn door an explore the world. i do provide them with grit during the winter when there inside during the winter an feed on alot of cracked corn an scratch grains that i grow here on my property.
    dakotasnake
    currently 42 chickens of various breeds , 2 dogs, 3 horses an 2 calves
     

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