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Scratch or grit... When?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jschway, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. jschway

    jschway In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2012
    olive branch ms
    Couple of questions.
    1. What is scratch or grit?
    2. When do I give them scratch or grit?
    3. Where do I get it from?

    My birds keep catching june bugs and other small bugs... (See video below) They are a week old and still on chicken starter.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Scratch is really a treat, and you don't have to give it to them at all. It's pretty big pieces for young chicks, too, or at least the stuff I buy is. I give them a handful a day (for 11 birds) to get them to turn the litter in the coop. They need starter til around 8 weeks, then grower til they lay, then layer. They don't need grit when young and on chick starter, but you probably need to offer it when you give treats (including bugs.) You should be able to buy chick grit, finer than chicken grit, which is for adults. You could also use sand for grit when they are young.

    Grit is granite, a very hard rock. They store it for a while in their gizzard where it is used to grind up their food -- kind of their version of teeth. You may not need to buy it for them if their outdoor area has enough hard stuff for them to grind their food. Our rock is limestone, which is pretty soft, so I provide grit.

    You should be able to buy grit at TSC, if you have one. My feed store doesn't carry it but I'm sure many do -- or talk to them and see if they will order it. I buy it in fairly small bags, maybe a quart, for around $6 or $8.

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