possibly dumb question. Do chickens need grit supplied?

junior67

Crowing
Jan 29, 2021
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I was under the impression that once they were outside and could eat dirt/rocks whatever that I didn't need to supply them with grit anymore. When they were still in the brooder and I gave them a treat here or there I made sure they had grit as they didn't have access to anything. But I have seen many people on sites that I am on talking about supplying their chickens with grit. These chickens either have access to a run or some free range. Mine have a large run with dirt and I use grass clippings in there. Should I still be giving them grit on the side? I just give them their chick feed (they are 13 weeks), a mealworm treat here and there, and fruit once or twice a week. They also come out to free range for a bit if I am outside with them.
 

junior67

Crowing
Jan 29, 2021
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Yes, you should give them some extra grit. The stuff they find in the dirt (especially if you have particularly fine dirt where you live) is not enough for them.
our dirt isn't fine at all. there are a million different size rocks/dirt particles in it. but I will give extra grit I have almost a whole bag of chick grit still left. Should I put it in a separate container? always keep that dish full? how much do I give them? Now I am worried since I haven't given it to them in the 6.5 weeks that they have been outside......
 

HappyClucker7

Bantam Queen
Premium Feather Member
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Apr 28, 2016
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our dirt isn't fine at all. there are a million different size rocks/dirt particles in it. but I will give extra grit I have almost a whole bag of chick grit still left. Should I put it in a separate container? always keep that dish full? how much do I give them? Now I am worried since I haven't given it to them in the 6.5 weeks that they have been outside......

Give it separately.
Keep the container full all the time.
They'll take however much they need.
Don't worry. They'll be fine. Just make sure you keep grit available in the future. :)
 

U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
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Assume "Yes" and separate bowl. They will take it when they need it, just keep the bowl between 1/3 and full - so if you forget for a week, or run out, its no reason to panic.

Without knowing the exact makeup of your soils, the question can't otherwise be answered. My soil is sandy clays and clay-ey sands - there isn't a small rock within 100' of soil surface (I watched them drill the well, we hit shells at a 125'+. But my birds pick up bits of recycled concrete from the material I used to pack the floor of the barn...

I still keep grit available - its usually made from relatively hard rocks, so it lasts a while. Native limestone doesn't.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
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Connecticut, USA
I will give extra grit I have almost a whole bag of chick grit still left.
(they are 13 weeks)
Chick Grit is too small/fine for 13 weeks old. It will pass right through the Gizzard.
20200718_083035.jpg

Adult size Poultry Grit is appropriate.
Save the Chick Grit for your next batch of chicks. I offer Poultry Grit in a hanging pail with 3/32 holes drilled in the bottom.
20210704_155540.jpg

GC
 

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