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The grit question again.....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SeaChick, May 17, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I know this has been asked a million times, but I can't get the answers straight.

    From this forum I thought I understood that chicks did not need grit (if they were on chick starter feed) until they started eating other food like treats.

    I juts got a Murray-McMurray catalog in the mail and I was reading the chick care part. They say feed them chick starter PLUS after the 3rd day start sprinkling grit on the feed.

    Opinions on this?

    Also, I read that play sand can be used as grit. Is that just for adults or for chicks too? We have a whole bunch of it.

    Thanks!
    Stacey
     
  2. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    I think it is all about personal Preference. I Myself, dont give the Chicks grit, till they move outside. They get grit then, cause that is when they get treats, and of course all the goodies they find while Ranging.

    I think you can use playsand for chicks, but am Unsure as I have never used playsand myself.
     
  3. catballou24

    catballou24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i thought that as long as they were free ranging part of the time, they will naturally eat little pieces of dirt and rock that acts like grit in them....am i wrong? i never gave our girls grit who free ranged on the farm we used to live on, and they were all extremely healthy (until the predators found out they were easy meals..[​IMG] i learned my lesson!)

    we live in a neighborhood now, on a little over 1/3 acre and have 8 chicks (about 6 weeks old i'm guessing). they are still in the very large and open coop we built, but i'll be starting 2-3 free ranging at a time when i'm home during the day....probably next week. should i be giving them grit now?

    sorry to hi-jack the thread! i just am confused too...LOL
     
  4. wallace

    wallace Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2007
    We had a bag of sand that we bought to fill the base of one of our kids' toys. It's very fine sand. My chicks go nuts for the stuff. Whenever I give the chicks a treat (they're about 4 weeks old), I put the treat in a dish on top of some of the sand.
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Any time a chick or chicken eats anything other than commercial feed, they need grit to properly process what they are eating.

    Last year I got our birds from McMurray. I asked the customer service people about that statement about adding grit. The girl told me they assume that people will feed the chicks something other than or in addition to commercial feed.

    Sand will work. I don't think you can hope the birds will find appropriate grit while foraging your property. Grit is not expensive. I paid $6 for 50# of grit in June 2006 and just had to repurchase the beginning of May 2007. It is the cheapest thing I've purchased for these birds since they arrived. [​IMG]

    We don't add grit to their feed, but keep it in a separate container; we do the same for the oyster shell for our layer flock.

    This article discusses the chicken digestive system...
    http://caltest.vet.upenn.edu/poultry/Syllabus/page37_44.htm
     
  6. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2007
    As long as chicks are ONLY eating starter, then they do not need grit. The starter has enough grit in it.
    Play sand is a perfectly suitable grit for chicks. Adult birds need something a little more substantial than play sand, though.
    Most people that free range their birds do not also offer grit, under the assumption that the birds will find enough on their own. This is probably true, except for where the birds are not really free-ranged, but are actually let out in the same penned area consistantly. I kind of think the suitable grit will be picked through over time.
    Offering grit free choice is really the best way to go, imo, because like keljonma said, it is so cheap and lasts so long.
     
  7. catballou24

    catballou24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    our free ranging is truly free ranging...[​IMG] but i will buy some grit next feed store trip...
     
  8. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    Once my Birds are adults, I no longer give them grit. They get enough while free ranging. I have yet to have a problem with that.
     
  9. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    Massachusetts
    I have never given my birds grit, they free range all day and I feel they get plenty of "grit" that way. I feed them good pellets, oyster shell, and treats.[​IMG]
     
  10. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Our flock forages our 2 acre farm from sun up to sun down every day. They still eat the grit I provide. You should do what works best for your situation.
     

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