Still confused about grit...


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 8, 2011
My chicks are 4 weeks old today. I have not given them any treats--they eat only the starter crumbles. However, I moved them out to the coop today and I noticed that there are bugs in the coop (i.e. ants, spiders, a roach). If my chicks were to eat these bugs, do they need grit?? Now I'm panicking because I don't have grit and I don't want my chicks to eat these bugs if they need grit. Please advise. Also, if I do need to give them grit, where do I get it? Is there a certain size grit I need?
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My chicks stay outside from 4 weeks on as well. I have never given them grit, and have not had any problems. Do they have access to soil, sand? If they do, they will pick up sand and little pebbles. I wouldn't worry to much about a few bugs. You can get chick grit at tractor supply. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
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They are only in the coop this week, so the only thing they have access to is their shavings and their food and water. The run is not built yet and I can't just let them free range. So, they are not getting any soil or dirt.
Chick grit is usually available at the feedstore. The picture is chick grit (Purina) to give you an idea on size. On the bag it says for chicks up to 10 weeks. It is pretty cheap and lasts a long time.

Adult chickens eat grit up to the size of about a small pea. If they are free ranging where there are stones/pebbles available they do not need additional grit.

I don't think you need to panic. It can wait till tomorrow.

Confession: The first time I raised chicks (years ago), I had no idea about grit. They got no grit till about 6 months old and were getting treats etc from day 1. Not a single issue with poop or crops or anything. Still have one of those chicks.


Grit? someone correct me if I'm wrong, but any gravel, sand, corn cob crumble, or what have you IS grit. Chickens have gizzards, which is an organ/muscle that hold grit to grind up food for the stomach because they don't have teeth. So depending on the dirt the chicks have available, grit shouldn't be much of a problem unless you don't have and small rocks, or gravel in your yard.
Sounds vaguely familiar...
I brought home chicks, put them in their outdoor brooder, and all was well. And then the bugs came. They were eating moths and crane flies and who knows what else. Not just a few, either. Noooooooo, the crane flies are ridiculous this year and they were scarfing them down like nobody's business. I grabbed a flashlight, a scallop shell for a shovel, and a plastic lid and headed for the driveway. I brought them about a tablespoon of the sandy part of our (granite scrap) driveway and they chowed it all. Trip #2 yielded another tablespoon and they barely touched it so I figured they were satisfied with their grit load.

The best part was not having to worry about it anymore! And now they get regular, supervised yard trips so I haven't bothered with collecting more grit.

I'd guess they'll be fine waiting until tomorrow but I would get them some grit ASAP since it sounds like you cannot yet give them outside time.

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