Hen grit for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jlgriff, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. jlgriff

    jlgriff Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2014
    Hi all,

    We have recently hatched 12 mixed chicks at my place of work and are doing very well with them so far. They are 3 weeks of age and I have started putting some enrichment into their housing - bread, dandelion leaves, cabbage leaves etc. Thanks to a thread recently started on here, I know that I must start introducing grit into their diet once they are eating things other than their chick crumb, but we only have mixed hen grit at my work. Would I be right in worrying that this type of grit may be too high in calcium for them at this stage? Should I order in some special chick grit? Help and advice very much appreciated :D. Thanks all!

    P.s. they are your bog-standard light / silver sussex and bluebell breed chicks, with one Frizzle chick thrown into the mix!
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Mixed hen grit? not familiar but i am gathering you mean it contains oyster shell? they may just pick around it, i have always had oyster shell present around young here because of the adults, that said perhaps some chick grit would be better smaller pieces, the overall consistency is more for young birds, the hen grit is likely too large.

  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Poultry grit is either crushed and screened granite or marble. Poultry grit typically comes in 3 sizes, chick, hen, and turkey. Of course of the three sizes chick grit is the smallest. I don't see any problem with giving chicks a small container of hen grit at your biddies' age. They know better than you or I what is harmful and what is not. However don't start feeding oyster shell free choice until they are older. To much calcium isn't very good for them and granite is as much as 25% limestone and marble is up to 100% limestone.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  4. jlgriff

    jlgriff Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2014
    Thanks everyone! I was worrying about choking hazards too but it hasn't got huge bits in it that will be of any harm. It was mostly the calcium content that was worrying me. It's reassuring to know to that at least they will know what is harmful to them and what is safe. Ok, I've only a small dish I'll feed ad-lib to them of grit when I'm giving them 'treats' for now.
    Thanks for the help!
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The other way to look at it is if they need grit and that is the only thing available then they are likely to consume it whether it's best for them or not. A small bag of chick grit will suit their needs perfectly, won't cost much and you won't have to worry about any excess calcium consumption at their young age.
  6. TheChickInn

    TheChickInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    The grit that is sold for chickens is too large for chicks, granted, you could just let them pick out the smaller pieces. I buy my chick grit from a pet store ( made for cage birds such as parakeets).
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    Just be careful of too many treats as this can cause diarrhea/impacted crops,chicks not getting the appropriate vitamins/minerals they require,chicks really only need their chick feed at this age.

    If your feel your grit it too large,just place in a bag and smash with a hammer,breaking up large pieces. Anything about the size of their eye or smaller,they will eat.
  8. jlgriff

    jlgriff Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2014
    Thank you, I realised that maybe I was getting too caught up in treating them and that it shouldn't become a habit. They are growing so fast though and coming along really well :D.

    Thanks for the info everyone :)

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