My girls are eating the sand! ACK! Is this okay?

countrycakelady

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 16, 2012
201
9
93
Eastern NC
I am the very very proud Mama to 14 baby girls, they are 3 weeks old this week! I have 1 Bufff Orp, 6 Golden Comets and 7 Red Sex Links....they are all very happy and healthy.....we have noticed that there were wanting to 'dust'...so I got them a nice pan of clean sand to have.......they are trying to eat it! Is that okay? I am very new to this...but am reading and learnning all I can.......they are growing so fast too! :)
 
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ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
Chickens to not have any teeth -- instead they eat little rocks that are usually referred to as "grit." Those little rocks collect in their gizzard which is a very strong muscle that grinds those little rocks against their food to chew it, per say. This is a completely normal behavior. Those rocks wear down over time and then the chickens eat more of them.

If you are giving your chicks snacks other than feed and they are not outside yet you may want to consider leaving a little sand or buying grit at a feed store and just leaving a little bowl in with them. They will eat it as needed.
 

countrycakelady

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 16, 2012
201
9
93
Eastern NC
As far as snacks, they have only had 2 hardboiled eggs chopped FINELY, and a small amount of dried mealworms that are also ground a bit....I was going to start some yogurt this weekend....do I need to go ahead and get some grit? We are just starting on snacks. :)
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
Those are pretty soft. I would guess you are fine if you are going giving a little here and there. If you start feeding any veggies I would get some or just wait on those until they are outside and on dirt.
 

Bellatrixed

Songster
7 Years
Jan 19, 2013
202
29
101
I use sand in my brooder and have never worried about giving them treats or special chick grit as a result. When they take a treat like a hard boiled egg piece, they inevitably drop it into the sand and it gets a little bit of grit on it. It's good for them in moderation and perfectly natural! Chickens aren't designed to be raised in sterile brooders, they're designed to wander around outside after their mothers and peck in the dirt where they'll eat little bits of dirt and rock along with properly "edible" things. So, it sounds perfectly fine to me. Congrats on your new chicks!
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