Grit

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hwlchickmama, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Hwlchickmama

    Hwlchickmama Out Of The Brooder

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    I want to give my 2.5 week old chicks more food stuffs... I know some things they need grit to digest but I am unsure what. I have a HEEP of contractor sand from various projects, horseshoe pit, footings for the coop etc etc etc its been covered w/ a tarp so nothings "growing" in it.... may be a little moist but that's it. Is it safe to give to the chicks or should I get grit from my local feed store?!?!?!?? Parenting is more perplexing then I originally thought!!! Thanks
     
  2. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wondering the same thing. I bought a box of bird grit and it is a lot smaller than regular sand. Grit has fine egg shells for calcium, I think, which we can add to sand if it will work. I hope regular sand is fine enough grit for them because it's cheap. I think it sounds like a better idea to get a bag of white play sand from a box store; it's probably cleaner. Heck, or maybe its treated with nasty chemicals! That wouldn't be good. I'm thinking river drag would have nasties in it.
    I am wondering just how resilient chickens and chicks really are. I have my first 26, 4 day old chicks. If take them to the garden and on a day when it is 85-90 degrees, how does the sun treat them? Do they overheat? I have noticed that they will be walking along on the warm ground and just fall over asleep. It's funny.
    I am also curious about what I have been reading about using clay to dust them with. I have some and I would love to hear from someone's personal experience with using kaolin clay or bentonite.
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    [​IMG] Tractor Supply sells chick grit or if you have regular granite grit you can sift it and use the finer grit for the chicks. If the grit appears to be pretty much the same size, smash some up. The Gizzard is best able to break down whole grains and other chunky bits that they eat when full of grit. Longest lasting grit is Granite, that lasts well. All other rock and stone is so much softer, that it wears down fast. I use the TSC grit because it is granite grit (no calcium added) which is harder then what they pick up off of the ground or sand. Some people use parakeet grit but most of it has calcium added which chicks don't need.
     
  4. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it should be fine and I've read where that is one of the many benefits for those people that have sand in the floor of the coop/run. Chickens eat the feed off/on the sand and ingest the sand which acts as grit. I mix in a little paver sand with my small ones when in the brooder, then give the granite to the big girls. In a natural "wild" man free setting, chickens will scratch and constantly eat off the ground and get the grit they need. But if you have them pinned up all the time or they free range in some lush green grass backyard, then that is why they need the store bought grit.
     
  5. jenkassai

    jenkassai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long should they have been eating grit before you introduce other "treats" to them?
     
  6. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I ended up giving a pan of dirt from our yard. It was so funny-they got in and scratched furiously and the dirt flew every which way. So far I've only given them white clover, grass and quick oats for treats.
     
  7. naughtyhens

    naughtyhens Out Of The Brooder

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    My first chicks got sand that I liberated from a playground a few blocks away- only about a tablespoon full so I didn't feel bad. I think there is a lot of leeway. They went through that sand quickly and later, whatever was on the ground when I took them outside for day range lessons. I'd give them what you've got. Some of it will be the right size and it will introduce natural bacteria to their systems. Remember, these are birds that mother nature expected to be outside pecking at whatever was out there. Good luck!
     
  8. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right. good point. I'm not wanting to baby my chicks either. I think it is easy next to free enough to make our own grit. I have made everything my chicks have. I have bought nothing except the first bag of starter scratch and I will be making their scratch soon.
     

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