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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Foghorn, Feb 16, 2007.
Do I need to add grit if I feed my chicks Purina Start and Grow?
Probably not. I think most chick starter has some grit in it. However, it is fun to give them a pan with loose powdery dirt and sand to play in. I'm alway amazed how much of this dirt they do eat which leaves me wondering if they get enough on starter. imho
I forgot to add that if you chose to give them anything else besides the starter such as special treats as they grow a bit older then it's best to add some grit. But remember, most "grit" is way too big for chicks. Another reason why I like to give sand. It works well for them. But not during the first week, of course.
Hadn't thought of sand - is regular play sand (I think that's the kind safe for kids to play in) the best kind for adult chickens - it's very fine... The feed store sold me huge granite chunks - I thought they were way too big (diameter of an M&M but fully round) but they just looked at me funny.
Yes, play sand is good. Unfortunately, it comes damp so it's best to dry out as much as you want to put in with them. This is what I did with my first batch of chicks and they loved it. I also used it for their bedding, dried out of course, because it is easily cleaned with a collandar. They loved to dust bath in it, too. When I use shavings for bedding I put a pan with about 3" sides with sand and loose dirt from outside.
I ad play sand to my chicken pen I buy it dry in bags at about $2.50 for a 60# bag from Home Depot. Bags of silica sand now carry labels warning the user to wear respiratory protection and avoid breathing the fine silica dust. I will give my chicks some grit mixed in their feed; once they go outside I do not give it to them anymore.
So it is safe to put dried play sand with week old chicks for their dust baths and grit supplement?
Quote:All I know is that you need to take precautions when working around sand (silica) and diatomaceous earth both can cause throat and lung irritation. My adult chickens take their dust baths in dirt and sand I do not believe it will have any negative affects on them, but as humans we need to take precautions. My chicks do not take dust baths. I do not see any problem when dealing with small quantities.