Grit question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I've read several contradicting posts regarding grit for chicks...or perhaps I'm remembering wrong. I'd love your input.

    Is parakeet/canary gravel a good choice for little chicks (first month of life). I've been offering it in a little soy-sauce dish to my 8 babies since they arrived and they seem to enjoy it (although they spread it all over the place) but I think I read somewhere that it is too high in calcium.

    Also, I've read advice that suggests things like "they should be OK with sand..." or " they should be OK unless..." what symptoms would I look for that would let me know that they are not OK?

    Thanks
     
  2. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    I've used what I think was canary grit at one point, and it worked out fine. You have to be careful, though. Some of these parakeet/canary grit packages will have oyster shell in it, too, which is a big no-no for chicks. It should tell you right on the box.

    I've personally never had a problem with sand. I raised my chicks on it this year and had no problems. In fact they enjoyed it quite a bit, and I never needed to give them grit.

    Probably the thing you should watch for is crop impaction. If you are going to have any problem with grit/sand, that will be it, but it's just as likely to happen with pine shavings. Just make sure they are eating and drinking regularly, and that their crops are emptying (usually best to tell after a long nap or, if they sleep through the whole night, in the morning).

    Hope this helps! [​IMG] There is a lot of controversy surrounding sand, apparently, but now that I've used it, I'm not going back to the pine shavings/grit system again.
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes it does help. Thanks. Is "crop impaction" easy to spot in 3 week old chicks? How can you tell whether or not their crops are emptying? All my chicks seem active and perky and are growing like crazy (with the exception of one who has had a poopie/pasty but almost since day one in spite of my 3/day+ cleaning who seems half the size/age of the rest of the flock.) While I've checked their bottoms every day since we got them, I have never checked their crops.
     
  4. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    Quote:Yes it does help. Thanks. Is "crop impaction" easy to spot in 3 week old chicks? How can you tell whether or not their crops are emptying? All my chicks seem active and perky and are growing like crazy (with the exception of one who has had a poopie/pasty but almost since day one in spite of my 3/day+ cleaning who seems half the size/age of the rest of the flock.) While I've checked their bottoms every day since we got them, I have never checked their crops.

    Crop problems are rare in chicks. You'll be able to see or feel the crop to one side of the breastbone, it should be very obvious on a chick. Don't panic if it's large, their crops can get very large at this age! As for symptoms, a chick with impacted crop may lose its appetite and refuse to drink food and water, become lethargic, and have a large crop that never shrinks even after 24 hours.

    It's very hard to check for an empty crop on a chick. They're always running around and eating something! The best thing you can do to check if their crops are functioning properly is to just watch and make sure that the crops shrink a bit, not just get larger and larger.

    Your chicks sound very healthy, though, and it doesn't sound like you have a problem! [​IMG]
     

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