Too much grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Erin80, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Erin80

    Erin80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just gave my chicks who are 3 1/2 weeks old, their first bowl of grit. They are going CRAZY for it. Do I need to take it out after a bit, or will they calm down about it?! Thanks!
     
  2. Dayrel

    Dayrel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Question: Have you been giving them any treats? Anything other than crumbles/pellets?
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    They will calm down. They are simply trying to make up for lost time. IMO, this behavior shows how much chickens NEED grit, in spite of the "they say" folks who say that if your chicks are on starter, they do not NEED grit. Hog wash! I give my chicks a shovel full of grit about every week. They go to town on it the minute it hits the floor of their brooder. They also do the same thing with their daily hunk of sod. It's amusing to see several standing on top scratching for worms, several playing with the roots, and several more around the perimeter at the bottom, taking a dust bath. When that sod gets dried out and compacted, I toss it into the run, and give them a new one.
     
  4. Erin80

    Erin80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have only been having their crumbles and a scrambled egg now and again. I want to start giving them treats though - mealworms, watermelon, etc....so I started them on the grit today before they start getting treats.
     
  5. Dayrel

    Dayrel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm rapidly coming to this conclusion. My personal thought is to start them on crumbles to get them used to eating that as their primary food, but then to make grit available by the second week. If raised more naturally, they would have access to grit even during that first week. They are able to figure it out on their own.

    While grit may not be necessary for digesting crumbles, it doesn't hurt either, and they will be well prepared for any non-commercial foods/treats that follow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  6. Mule & Flash

    Mule & Flash Out Of The Brooder

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    Newbie here. What is grit?
     
  7. Dayrel

    Dayrel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grit is small, hard rocks. Chickens have a different digestive system setup from us. They do not have teeth to chew up their food. Instead, they have a tough, muscular organ called the gizzard that holds this grit to grind up their food. This helps with the breakdown of hard/larger food items such as seeds or insects.

    Chicks use very small grit and full-grown chickens use larger grit. In nature, the birds would be able to pick these rocks off the ground as they scratched around looking for food. Since our birds are generally more crowded and contained, we supply them with grit instead. Fortunately, commercial grit is cheap- typically ground up granite.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017

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