New chicks - grit

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by maurerwerks, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. maurerwerks

    maurerwerks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2009
    Sunapee
    Hi - I just got my baby chicks on Tuesday! So exciting - I'm a first-time chicken parent. My question is about giving them grit. I've looked at all my local suppliers and none of them carry chick grit. My question is... I read somewhere to go out and dig them a nice clod of turf and they would get their own grit out of it along with grass, weeds, and bugs (we don't use any chemicals on our lawn). They are about 4 days old now - does this sound like a good solution and are they old enough for this? Thanks from a nervous first-time chicken mom.
     
  2. BillT

    BillT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Sweetwater, TN
    They don't need any grit as long as you are feeding chick starter feed. If you want to give them some grit later on, you might want to use parakeet grit you can get at walmart.
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I couldn't find chick grit either, although I have bought it in the past at TSC. I did buy a box of bird grit from Walmart, but when I saw what it looked like, I decided that when it was gone, I'd just use a bag of leveling sand I got at Lowe's to put on the patio stones.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    They don't need grit at all if they are ONLY being fed commercial chick starter feed.

    If you give them treats, such as mealworms, or anything OTHER than their crumbles, scrambled/boiled eggs, or yogurt, then you have to supply grit for them. Grass with some dirt on the roots would be one example of a treat requiring grit to "digest" it; you would have to make sure there are little rocks or pebbles in that dirt.

    A very easy solution to the grit problem is to buy a 50# bag of construction sand (or "all purpose") sand at any home improvement store such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Don't get "play" sand, which is ALL very small bits of sand. Construction sand has little itty bits of pebbles, granite shards, etc.

    Hope this is somewhat helpful.
     
  5. maurerwerks

    maurerwerks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've already looked at parakeet grit - the only parakeet grit around here has calcium in it. I thought you couldn't give them treats or chick scratch until they'd had some grit(?)
     
  6. Heathercp

    Heathercp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    Quote:
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Chicks raised by their mother in the barnyard get grit, grass, bugs, dirt, and who knows what from the time they leave the nest. Your chicks are not in the barnyard with a mama hen and if all they eat is chick starter, they do not have to have grit. However, if you feed them any treats, a hard shelled bug wanders into their area, or they eat a few wood shavings, a little grit is not a bad idea. It sure does not hurt. You can use the parakeet grit, but read the ingredients label carefully. Some parakeet grit has extra calcium, which can harm baby chicks. The stuff without extra calcium works well though.

    You can get a clod of turf and dirt if you want. It will work, but the dirt may be mostly clay, which is not the best of grit. Coarse sand, like construction sand, works well. I usually go to my gravel driveway or gravel road and collect some sand and small pebbles to use as grit. If your driveway or gravel road was salted for ice, this is not a good idea since the chicks cannot handle the extra salt.

    I also gather some dirt from my run and give it to the chicks in a brooder by day three. That's so they can be exposed to any cocci protazoa in the ground while they are still young enough to develop immunities to it. There is always the chance they will be exposed to worms or other parasites doing that, but I think getting them immune to the cocci protazoa is worth that risk. I haven't had a problem yet but probably will some day. I'd still rather deal with that while they are in the brooder and under really close daily observation than deal with it later.

    Good luck!!!
     
  8. maurerwerks

    maurerwerks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2009
    Sunapee
    Thanks so much ridgerunner - We don't have salt in our driveway 'cause we're so far in from an actual road. Where we're putting the chicken run was a sheep pasture about 70 years ago, but no other animals on it except for deer, bear, coyote, etc. since then, but I'll bring something in from that as well.
     

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