Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by silverlining, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. silverlining

    silverlining Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    Highlands Ranch
    Ok, so I might be over reacting, but I'm new to this whole chicken thing and don't want to accidentally hurt my babies!

    I bought parakeet/budgie grit from pets mart but it says "calcium enriched." I did NOT give any to them because I then heard that too much calcium is bad for chicks. I then went to our feed store but they said they didn't have any chick grit. I then heard you could get it in the pet section at wall mart, so I went there. They DID have some parakeet grit, and it didnt have a huge "calcium enriched" sign on it, so I bought it. I gave a tiny bit to the chickies (just out of my palm), sprinkled it on their food, and then checked the ingredients out of curiosity. well it says it has calcium carbonate just like the other kind from pets mart!!! except this kind doesn't say the amount because its generic, whereas the pets mart stuff says it is a MIN of 17.5% calcium and a MAX of 21.0% calcium.

    so im torn. go with the unknown entity or the known entity. does anyone know how much calcium is too much? too be honest, the pets mart stuff looks much better quality. it has slightly bigger pebbles. The other one looks like its sand with tiny gravel pieces in it.

    further info:

    Pets Mart Grit: KAYTEE Hi-Cal Grit. Ingredients: Granite grit, Oyster shell, Calcium Carbonate, Decalcium Phosphate, Salt, Charcoal, Mineral Oil, Oramge Oil, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Carbonate, Copper Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate.

    Generic Grit (Hartz): It says its air washed (what on earth?!) and has: Gravel, Calcium Carbonate, Sorbolite Clay.

    like I said, the first looks way better but they haven't had any of it yet, and the second they have only had a little of. I have three 1.5 week old Brahma chicks, and I was planning on giving them their first treat, a little scrambled egg tomorrow. Now I'm just running around in a confused newbie panic.

    Any info at all on this would be great. Thanks!
  2. CluckThis

    CluckThis Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2008
    Arlington, Washington
    Check other farm supply stores or co-op's, we buy grit in 50# bags here pretty cheap and it lasts a long time. [​IMG]
  3. silverlining

    silverlining Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    Highlands Ranch
    hmm, maybe thats it and i should look at other stores. there just aren't any local ones "/

    anyone else? im beginning to think this "NEVER EVER let chicks have too much calcium" thing is just something people have picked up...i cant find any scientific basis for it. Anyone know of any studies on how calcium affects chick growth?
  4. NotTheMomma

    NotTheMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wonder as well. The grit at the farm store is HUGE! I had to break it up with a hammer for the little chicks! So I made same mistake as you, and got exact same yummy looking and smelling, birdie grit. I fed it free feed for a week before reading on here that it was a bad idea. I stopped feeding it, but will give it back when they are starting to lay eggs. I figure that if it isnt too much calcium for the small parakeets, then hwo can it be too much for chickens? Chickens have MUCH larger bones.
  5. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Pasadena, CA
    If you can't track down plain ol' grit, try finding some decomposed granite used in landscaping. It should be pretty much plain crushed granite; I "borrowed" some from a neighbor's garden and washed it and the chicks did fine with it . . .
  6. NotTheMomma

    NotTheMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've read sand works as grit too! I know mine eat the sand outta the sand box, and it hasnt hurt them.
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    If you have a granite driveway look for reeeeeally fine crushed granite/sand. My cat likes to dustbath in our driveway, so she has all the really fine stuff in a pile handy dandy for me. The chicks seem to approve.

    You can use "play sand" sold for kiddie sand boxes. Play sand is bigger grit than the kind usually used to make concrete. It's cheap.
  8. silverlining

    silverlining Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    Highlands Ranch
    thanks for the advice guys! we have a sand box in our backyard, so I'll check it for size and wash some if it looks good!
  9. chickenhick

    chickenhick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    I have never given my babies grit and they have always done well...maybe they don't need it????? [​IMG]
  10. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    what do you need grit for?
    Are you feeding commercial dry crumbles?
    or are you feeding whole or cracked grains.?
    How old are these chicks?

    generally you don't need grit till the chicks are older andeating cracked or whole grains?

    So don't stress your self on this issue.
    runing from store to store for a minimal problem.

    The grit you bought can eventually be fed to adult chickens with out any problem
    The grit should not be too expensive.
    try utilizing the commercial feed and you do not need any grit

    SAND is not that good ffor chicks. It can compact the crop and not go thru to the gizzard
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009

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