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Natural soil as grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by barred2rock, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. I live in the southern Colorado Rockies, the soil here is very sandy & gritty. Can I use this natural soil as grit and/or for dust baths for the chicks?

  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Maybe as a Dustin
    Ng bath. Chicks do best on pure chick sized granite grit. The sand I too small and just passes right thru them. They need larger sharper granite grit to exercise their gizzards.
    Best, karen
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Sandy soil is not really that effective in providing appropriate grit as grit is more about having larger sized, unevenly shaped "stones" - take a peek at the grit that is sold for poultry to get an idea of the approximate size/composition that works best to provide the grinding surfaces. If the natural environment has a good supply of the grit type stone that would be sufficient. Sand is too small and generally ineffective for the sort of grinding that is done in the gizzard as it will pass through the digestive tract and be expelled along with the feed items and/or can sometimes cause impaction depending on other factors.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    My chicks are brooded on sand. The grade is called masonry sand and it has different size particles mixed in. The chicks, as well as my adult chickens, manage to find the right size grit that they need. It's not as if I'm new at this. They've been on this sand for almost ten years.

    You can dig up a plug of grass with your soil still attached and give it to your chicks during their first week. The soil has not only grit but helpful pathogens that will strengthen your chicks' immune system, making them much more resistant to disease.
    1 person likes this.

  5. Bummer! Just took a trip to the nearest good size town sixty miles away, this afternoon to stock up on supplies. Passed on the grit, thinking the soil here would be good enough. Guess I should have asked beforehand. Do they need grit immediately or can they do without for a week or so, until I run back to town?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    For what it's worth, I've never given grit to my flock. They range in the garden all day and are fine with what they find (and the soil is ostensibly clay-based). I use dry soil as the litter in my brooder (more through necessity than choice but similarly, I've never had any issues). I'm in no way contradicting the advice given, but simply sharing my experience.
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    give them about a week be Ford you start the grit. Their g
    I. Tract has enough to do now. The first two days you give it to the, spring lake it lightly over their feed. Then skip that and just put in a cup.. They will find it and eat what they need.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017

  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Supposed to be sprinkle, not spring lake.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017

  9. Thank you & all the others... They may have it at the local hardware store, if not I'll have to wait until my next trip to town. I'll be sure to get it in time. Much appreciated!
  10. I found the following in a large ant hill (no ants) on my property. Would they work and be safe for my chicks? I have a life time supply, if they will. Lol

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017

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