I thought I knew...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by polishchickens111, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was buying feed at Agway today and I wanted some grit suitable for my 7-week-old chicks. There were 2 containers with grit, one labled "Chicken Grit" and the other "Calcium Chips." The lady told me that:

    a. the oyster shells would "make the eggs stronger." I thought it was the calcium in them that makes the shells, correct? I read in a chicken care book that too much calcium in young chicks was bad. Can I use calcium chips or just contine feeding them treats during free-ranging when they can pick up pebbles? Also, do they usually need grit for grower mix?

    b. my chicks were not old enough to have grit. (again, they are 7 weeks old.) I have read in a number of places that they can have grit at a very young age. I told her I gave them tomatoes and apples and she just replies, "That's fine. Don't feed them grit." I also thought that anything other than chick crumbles, worms, bugs, yogurt, and a couple other things required grit.

    Thanks to all who guide me, that lady confused me.
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Oyster Shell is what they get their calcium from. Don't feed them calcium until it's time for them to lay, cause it DOES make the egg shells stronger. I feed my chicks Turkey & Gamebird Starter for the first four weeks, then I switch to grower crumbles. I use Turkey & Gamebird, cause it's higher in protein than Chick Starter. When they get switched to adult food, Layer Pellets & Scratch, at 5 months, they get grit & Oyster Shell.
     
  3. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

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    Quote:A. Oyster shells have calcium in them. That's why you feed them oyster shells when they are laying to make the shells of the eggs stronger.

    B. There is such a thing as chick grit. I got my from TSC. Whenever I feed my chicks anything that isn't chick feed, I sprinkle a little bit of chick grit onto it for them.
     
  4. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our local Agway doen't have chick grit, and we don't have TSC or any other feed store. I suppose that a general pet store can carry canary grit, would that work? So far I fill a tub of dirt up every week or so and they pick out the pebbles.
     
  5. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you free range your chicks they probably don't need extra grit but it won't hurt them to offer it. If they are not free ranging and you give them treats I believe they can use regular grit , they don't need chick grit. I wouldn't give them calcium until you see the first egg.
     
  6. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Yes, canary grit or dirt will work.
     
  7. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, thank you everyone!
     
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Another bit of advice - people in feed stores are usually hired for their retail experience, not because they know anything about agriculture. You will get some bad advice on BYC, but it's far more reliable than a feed store! [​IMG]
     
  9. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Another alternative to chick grit is sand. I've been warned that canary grit has calcium in it, so it may not be the best thing for young chicks. Anyway if you look at it, it's just sand with other stuff in there.
     
  10. tclegg

    tclegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes-some people at feed stores do not know alot about agriculture or animal husbandry--but some do--just like here on BYC. So it is always great that you have several resources to check out the information. I also heard that canary grit may contain calcium--so I am not sure about that alternative. Depending on how much you let them free range and the variety of the diet you give them they may be getting enough grit in their diet. If I remember right I believe that the Manna Chick Starter Medicated has grit already in it but I'm not sure-that is what I fed my chicks when I first got them. But you might want to buy the Chicken grit and then just crush it up more for your brood. The only difference between that and the chick grit is the size of the grit--everything else is the same...you just have to take the time to crush some of it up for them...[​IMG]
     

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