True Grit??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Smiling Angel, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Smiling Angel

    Smiling Angel Chickens R Us

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    Mar 28, 2014
    Central New Jersey
    Sorry for the pun, but I have a question that's been bothering me since we got our first bach of chicks two years ago. They are now two years old and doing well, despite the little dispute I'm having with my daughter-in-law. We all live in one giant house on 3 acres in a lovely area, and my d-i-l really wanted to get some chickens since we moved here in 2011. She lived her early years in Costa Rica, and her family raised chickens there. At first, I thought, ??chickens?? but I got used to the idea, and actually am their main caregiver, as she and my son have three kids, the youngest is under two, so she needs lots of attention.

    Anyhow, back to our area of contention. [​IMG] When they raised their chickens in Costa Rica, they did it in more of an 'old farm' type of way, feeding them whatever, not comercial food, but they basically free ranged most of the day. Now, I've been studying up on raising chickens, etc, and everything I've ever read says that the hens need, aside from their food, grit and oyster shell. We now are the proud owners of eight more baby chicks, and she keeps telling me that they don't need the grit, and that it's just pushed by sites trying to sell you something (ie. grit). I can't convince her otherwise. and, believe me, I've tried. The chicks aren't even close to being able to get outside, so they can't get any on their own. I am worried about them not having any, even tho our first group of chicks two years ago never got any, and they are fine.

    What would you do if you were me? The only thing I can think of is to buy some and secretly give them access to it, or could I use a fine sand? Not sure how I would do that, as the chicks are in their side of the house. Should I just sneak a bit of sand into their food, would that work???

    Please help, suggestions gratefully welcomed!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    If you only feed commercial feeds (i.e. starter and layer crumbles) they don't really need it. The feed is usually fine enough for them to digest. I've always fed my birds commercial feeds as staples and scratch grains as treats. I've never supplied grit to either adults or babies. If the commercial feed is all you feed, they should be fine especially if they free range, like mine. Also, layer feed has boosted levels of calcium, so I haven't had to use any oyster shell either. However, if you want to offer grit and oyster shell free choice, it will just make it easier for the birds to get some if they need it, and there is no harm in that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  3. Smiling Angel

    Smiling Angel Chickens R Us

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    Mar 28, 2014
    Central New Jersey
    Thanks for responding and also for putting my mind at ease. I forgot to mention that we raised our first flock, and will be raising these new girls, on organic feed. Last spring, I also grew some fodder for the girls, but it was just a supplemental, not substituting for their layer feed. Our little ones are on the starter crumbles.

    Speaking of the wheat I grew last year, and plan on starting again soon, at what age can I feed this to the babies?

    Thanks again!

    SA
     

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