Grit/sand for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SamwiseGamgee, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. SamwiseGamgee

    SamwiseGamgee New Egg

    Jun 11, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I have a question, just got 6 new chicks, 3 Buff Orps and 3 Aracaunas....anyway, I was doing some reading about grit for chick. The chicks are on non-medicated Manpro Chick starter and I didn't see grit as an ingredient. I also read that introducing grit early helps stimulate gizzard development, so I thought I would put a little sand in the corner of their brooder for them to mess around with...well they really like it! They are picking and pushing to get to it, but now I am worried they may just fill up on the sand and either cause problems/prevent them from eating their starter properly. Should I forego the grit, or let their instincts be their guide in diet selection. They are coming up on 1 week old.

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Are you giving them any other food besides the chick starter?
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Chicken feed does not have grit in it, at least the Purina does not. I emailed Purina and asked them.

    If all they eat is chicken feed, they do not need grit. If they eat much of anything else, yes they need grit to grind it up in their gizzards. So if all they eat is chicken feed, you don’t need to. It is purely a personal choice.

    I give grit about day 2 or day 3 in the brooder for different reasons, one of which will horrify some people on here. I do think it helps set their system up the way it should work. That way they are prepared if a hard shelled bug crawls in the brooder or they eat some wood shavings or something like that.

    I take some sandy dirt from my run and give it to them. The reason I chose the dirt from the run is what will horrify some people. The chicks get any probiotics the adults have but they also get any bad bugs too. I’m especially thinking about Coccidiosis. The chicks can develop the immunity they need against Coccidiosis better when they are young than when they are older. And I can watch them better in the brooder. I can also control keeping the brooder fairly dry which greatly helps reduce the chance of Coccidiosis being a problem. The chicks are going to be introduced to all that when they hit the ground later. I prefer them to be prepared.

    I know what you are talking about with them chowing down on it. I think they instinctively realize they need it. I do limit how much they get and I offer it separately to their feed, but I really don’t think that matters with those chicks if you limit how much they get and you are controlling how much they get. Mixing it with the feed should be OK as long as they are not filling up somewhere else.

    Just think in terms of moderation. Just give them a little so they can get set up but not filled up on it.
  4. SamwiseGamgee

    SamwiseGamgee New Egg

    Jun 11, 2011
    They are just on the starter for now, but I am taking a sort of "How would it be if we hadn't domesticated them" approach...I figure they would have access to some grit early, I will definitely limit them on it though, the little pigs [​IMG]

    Ridgerunner, have you had any negative experience from using outside dirt? I am a little leery of Cocci...I think that is what wiped out my last chicks. I do want them to build an early immune system. I wonder it introducing tiny amounts from outside would work well? Right now they just get play sand...
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
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