scratch, grit, digestion

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by VioletandBodie, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. VioletandBodie

    VioletandBodie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when can polish chicks have scratch? do they need grit for scratch? when do they need grit? can they digest treats (including eggs, and bugs) with out grit? what age do you switch them from chick starter to adult food? thanks in advance!
     
  2. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

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    Okay, let's see if I can help with some of your questions....

    I waited until my chicks were about three weeks old before giving them something other than starter feed. Then I started by giving them a little bit of soft bread. As they mature you can give them other goodies such as bugs but I limited how much fruit and veggies they get at a time because it can cause diarrhea if they eat too much once.

    I have never given my chickens scratch so I cannot advise you in that regard.

    As for grit, I use all purpose sand (at Lowes) instead of grit. Grit contains too much calcium for little chicks. Not to mention it's a lot cheaper than grit too. You're birds will go nuts for it. If you put it in a shallow container that's big enough they will dust bathe in it...sooo cute!

    Starter feed should be used for the first 6-8 weeks (double check directions on the bag), then Grower/Finisher until they are 18 weeks old. Finally you will want to put them on Layer feed (if they start laying before 18 weeks you should start them on Layer feed as soon as they start laying). Note: it's best to transition between feeds by mixing the old formula with the new for several days to a week instead of a sudden change.

    I would highly recommend getting a smaller container for free-choice feeding of oyster shell when your birds are switched to layer feed. They'll take only what they need. Makes things a lot easier for you and keeps them healthy too.

    I hope I helped. If I have made an error in my advice I hope someone will jump in and correct me [​IMG] Enjoy your babies!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  3. VioletandBodie

    VioletandBodie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks this is vary helpfull
     
  4. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Everything the above poster sounds good, but I wanted to add some things.

    They make grit especially for chicks and chickens. Ususally runs about $5 for a 5 pound bag and it will last a long time. The only grit that they shouldn't have is parakeet grit, because it has calcium in it. Regular grit made for chicks and chickens doesn't have calcium in it.

    Depending on what brand of food you are feeding them, they may not make a "grower" feed. I feed my chicks Purina Start and Grow and they are to be on that until they start laying. Mine are weened off of it before then and put on Purina Flock Raiser because we have ducks as well, and it is easier to feed everyone one food. Also, I find the FR makes their feathers shinier.

    Wait until your chicks are a few weeks old before you give them scratch. It is not something that they NEED, like their food, but is to be used more as a treat. Yes, they will need grit if you feed them scratch or anything other than their feed or yogurt.


    Good luck!
     
  5. VioletandBodie

    VioletandBodie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK thats i will pick up parakeet grit at the store so far we have a 50lb chick starter, 50lb scratch, and 50lbs oastershells (grounded for chickens) we will pick up grower and layer food in 4-5 weeks and sand and parakeet grit to bad the only place to get chicken supplies sells them in 50lb bags [​IMG] (this includes pine shavings)
     
  6. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    No, you misunderstood. Parakeet grit is BAD! You need CHICK or CHICKEN grit. They should have it in 5 pound bags.
     
  7. VioletandBodie

    VioletandBodie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok sorry no parakeet grit
     
  8. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    OK Ok...the other day I was in the store buying laying pellets, and some guy was 2 ppl. in front of me buying scratch grain...what is it for????
     
  9. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Some people feed only scratch to their chickens, some people only use it as a treat. I mix mine about 75% Flock Raiser to 25% scratch. My chickens also free range suring the day. I have read many places on here that scratch is only supposed to be used for a treat, but I also know many people who have had chickens for years that only feed scratch. I mean, if you think about it, what did our grandparents and great-grandparents feed their chickens before the commercial feeds were developed.


    It is all a personal preference, I guess.
     
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    D'Angelo N Va. :

    OK Ok...the other day I was in the store buying laying pellets, and some guy was 2 ppl. in front of me buying scratch grain...what is it for????

    It's a treat, like ice cream for the grandkids, to get them to do things they don't want to do like come in at night. It also contains corn which will put fat on the birds so I don't usually feed it except in the winter to help them put on a little insulation.​
     

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