More questions on new chicks, feeding stuff

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Elven Dreams, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Elven Dreams

    Elven Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    129
    Feb 20, 2009
    North Carolina
    I got my chicks on Tuesday and they have grown so much already!!

    I'm addicted. I'm already counting the days til my local feed store gets their chicks in... hehehehe


    My question is, when do I need to start offering grit to them? Is it in the chick starter?

    Also, can they start having tiny bits of treats now? I offered them a small bit of crumbled cheddar cheese last night and they attacked it! lol

    And, I know it's too early now, but when do I change them over to layer/adult food?

    Thanks![​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    They don't need grit until they are eating foods other than their chick starter.
    Go easy on the treats. They really need the complete nutrition of their chick starter right now. Just like human chicks, they'll fill up on something they really like instead of what's good for them.
    I started treats at 10 days old, chopped hard boiled egg and plain yogurt. Always in moderation.
    If seperate grower is available where you live you can switch them over to that at about 8 weeks. If all that's available is a combo. of chick starter/grower they can stay on that until about 18 weeks or when you get your first egg. Then they go on layer feed.
     
  3. Elven Dreams

    Elven Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    129
    Feb 20, 2009
    North Carolina
    Terrific! Thank you that is exactly what I needed to know. I knew they probably shouldn't have too much other than the starter right now... like real children! Not too many treats! lol
    They were watching me eat the cheese last night so I thought I would give them a tiny piece, and I mean tiny! lol just to see what they would do with it.

    I'll check on what is available as far as starter/grower/layer ... I think we have a pretty decent chicken population in this area and my feed store keeps a nice supply of everything else so shouldn't have any issues finding the right stuff.

    Thanks very much! [​IMG]
     
  4. crait

    crait Chillin' With My Peeps

    789
    0
    139
    Jul 9, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    I've never fed my chickens grit.
    If they are 'free-ranged' like mine are, just throw feed out on the ground and they'll find natural sources of grit like sand and such.
    Some kinds of feed include grit-like substances too.
    I waited a week before giving mine treats.
    Nice worms and crickets from PetsMart always gets them going!
     
  5. Elven Dreams

    Elven Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    129
    Feb 20, 2009
    North Carolina
    Mine will eventually be semi-free range. Unfortunately I can't totally free range them due to proximity to the road and stupid redneck neighbors who don't always keep their GSD in its pen.[​IMG]

    They will be in a coop with large run while I'm at work or away and when I am home I will have them share time in a portable chicken tractor and being out and about with me in the yard.

    I hope to get the larger part of our land fenced this summer, (what isn't already fenced for the horses) so that will help with the bleeping dogs... at that point I may just go for wing clipping and letting them really free range.

    So maybe I'll just have some grit out free choice for them?
     
  6. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    The first treats I gave my chicks were crumbled up hard-boiled eggs, then crickets (from Petsmart), then mealworms. I also gave them Parakeet grit...and they think that's a treat too! Now at 8 weeks old, I mix the Parakeet grit with Chicken grit so they can decide which size they want/need.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I don't either now that mine are outside every day. When they were small and still in the brooder I offered parakeet grit. I went thru one box before they were outside enough that I didn't worry about them finding it on their own. [​IMG]
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,224
    672
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    A chicken's food goes, as is, into the crop, where it is slowly funneled into a very small " stomach" for some digestive additives--then to the Gizzard, where it is 'chewed', that is, ground into material that can be digested as it moves into the intestines and so on. 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 and that is why granite grit is best choice, works really well for best utilization of feeds. My baby chicks are given free choice and they choose it with pleasure, baby grit is fine Granite, as soon as they are given anything besides Starter Crumbles. Their tiny gizzards are at optimum function at an early age. I feed my birds Starter/Grower feed until they start to lay then I switch over to layer feed. If I have any Starter/Grower feed left over I mix it in with the layer feed.

    I give mine almost everything. Here is the link to BYC Chicken Treat Chart.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart
     
  9. Elven Dreams

    Elven Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    129
    Feb 20, 2009
    North Carolina
    Thanks everybody for all the great information.

    And thanks for the Treat Chart! I found that the other day and was amazed at all the natural stuff you can feed chickens!

    I was just sitting hanging out with my chicks and reading. I think they are starting to like me a bit more... the first few days they hated me cuz I kept getting them out to clean their bottoms.. lol...

    Think I'm gonna go with free choice grit, at least they will have the option! [​IMG]



    ps: gritsar~ i was married May 7! We'll share wedding months! lol (course mine was... 15 years ago!! WOW!)
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Cool beans! May 7th is my daughter's birthday! She'll be 23 this year.
    We just finished ordering our "every day" wedding bands. Had to special order cuz he's wears a 14 and I wear a 5! After all the fuss I made about having to have my engagement ring because it was sooooooo special, I hardly wear it now because I'm afraid of losing it on the farm.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by