New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 454Chevy, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. 454Chevy

    454Chevy New Egg

    Mar 17, 2016
    Hello everyone! I recently purchased 6 chicks from a local feed store. One Plymouth barred rock, one light Brahma bantam, two buff orpingtons, and two California whites. Now I'm patiently waiting to see how many turn out to be pullets! I was wondering when, if at all, do I need to start feeding them some sort of grit or oyster shells?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC and congrats on your new chicks!
    Grit can be offered from the start - while commercial feed is water soluble and does not require grit for digestion, there is an advantage to using age appropriate grit from the start to help your birds develop the large, strong gizzards needed later for digesting food other than that water soluble feed. Definitely introduce grit before feeding any non-soluble feeds/treats.
    Oyster shell is only needed when the birds reach laying age -- even if you choose to feed a layer ration that is enriched with calcium having the oyster shell available is an added "fail safe" to assure your flock has the ability to take in the calcium they feel they need from day to day. I don't use layer ration, so I use oyster shell as the calcium source for the birds in my flock who are actively laying. The nice thing about oyster shell is that only those birds who *need* it are interested in consuming it -- other birds (chicks, roosters, etc) may pick at it at first out of curiosity, but they don't consume it like the actively laying birds don.
    1 person likes this.
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Great advice from Ol Grey Mare. I hope you are enjoying the chicks, your flock sounds lovely.

    Thanks for joining us!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already so I'll just say hello!

    All the best

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