I've got Grit confusion...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mmww621, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. mmww621

    mmww621 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    North Florida
    Very much a chicken newbie...Questions about offering grit:

    My 3 chickies are just over 1 week old and eating FRM medicated chicken starter crumbles. This afternoon we had a beautiful Florida day and the whole family was outside, with chickies in a tractor for their first time foraging. I understand that while they are only on starter crumbles they do not need grit (correct?), but when do they need to start grit if foraging outside? The weather is very warm so plan on being out there in a chicken tractor a few hours a day on most days of the week. Because of predators don't plan on letting them free range until much much larger. Also our yard doesn't have many pebbles/gravel (supper sandy FL soil) so want to make sure they get all the grit action they need [​IMG].

    Today purchased Manna Pro Poultry Grit (just because I was in town and figured i'd grab it) but the directions say "provide to poultry fed scratch or other coarse grains beginning at 8 weeks of age". Did I get the wrong kind?

    Thanks!!!! [​IMG]
  2. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Staples, Minnesota
    They should get enough grit from the sand when they are outside, but if you will feel better, buy a bag or chick grit or parakeet grit and lightly "salt" their feed with it.

    They can go on regular poultry grit when they get bigger. Remember to add oyster shell as well if their layer ration doesn't include it. I'm assuming you are raising laying hens.
  3. SC Yankee

    SC Yankee Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2012
    Saint Matthews, SC, USA
    As I understand it, chicks need food with a higher level of protein than do roosters or hens. I see roughly 5 kinds of food available.

    Starter with 24% protein
    Starter/grower with 20% protein
    Grower/finsher with 15% protein
    then for laying hens, Layer with 16% protein which has added calcium for the egg shells
    and Scratch grains 8.5% protein which are primarily for roosters.

    Chicks should be using the starter or starter/grower until the 8th---9th week, then switched to grower/finisher until the 18th week, then laying hens would be put on the Layer food.

    (the above percentages are for Dumor brand, YMMV)
  4. mmww621

    mmww621 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    North Florida
    Yup, they are laying hens. Can a chick (or full grown hen) overdose on grit, or do they pass what they don't need? Thanks so much for the help!!
  5. gardendufus

    gardendufus Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, I'm confused and don't want to confuse anyone else, but I'm sure I read that Oyster Shell was a source of calcium and that chicks/pullets should NOT be given calcium until they were old enough to start laying, Actually, I thought I read that parakeet grit also had calcium, but I'm also sure I read many peeps saying they gave their chick parakeet grit. Guess I'm off to do more research.
  6. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    My Coop
    I just got "chick grit" (at TSC). I "salt" their food with it and sprinkle it around the feeder where they scratch a lot. I don't think they can overdose on it, but you are supposed to wait to give it to them until they know their food (so they don't just eat grit). Grit just helps them digest and grid their food in the gizzard (before it goes to the stomach?).

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