Two ?'s...worming? Why not give grit in free range but yes in run??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 7cutechix, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. 7cutechix

    7cutechix Out Of The Brooder

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    East Central Indiana
    Please answer these questions: 1. Do you always give chickens worming meds or just if them seem sick?? Like for a dog, every month??? 2. Why do you need to give grit if they are in a dirt ground run and not if they are free range? Maybe they eat up all the grit eventually and even though there's dirt it's not the right size??
    I've been thinking of these and haven't found any answers...thanks. By the way, first eggs yesterday!!! I'm thrilled!
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    1. Do you always give chickens worming meds or just if them seem sick?? Like for a dog, every month???

    I don't do it much. It might be a good idea though.

    2. Why do you need to give grit if they are in a dirt ground run and not if they are free range? Maybe they eat up all the grit eventually and even though there's dirt it's not the right size??

    Just give them some extra grit, I say.

    Congratulations on the eggs! So fun!​
     
  3. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I don't worm mine. The few times that I have, they have quit laying for months(I mean like 6!).
    You don't need grit in a dirt run.
     
  4. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't wormed mine yet, they're 8 months old. I haven't felt the need to, but if they ever seem lethargic or pale or thin, I would seriously consider it.

    About grit...I think it depends on your dirt. We have heavy black clay here (slimy when wet), so I don't feel like mine get enough grit even when free-ranging. Clay isn't going to help grind up anything! I always supply grit. If you have sandy or gravelly dirt, your chickens may be fine without it. If I lived near my dad in the hill country (Austin, TX), then I would never have to give them grit because of all the rocks and sand that are everywhere.
     
  5. 7cutechix

    7cutechix Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. We have a chicken tractor now and move them around but will build (that should be fun) a new coop and run by winter!
     
  6. Big C

    Big C J & C Farms

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    If they are raised in a natural environment:
    Access to native soil in the coop or run you'll likely not need any grit. One caveate here. If you feed whole corn you could mix oyster shell in with it.
    Use DE mixed in their feed and in the coops/runs. It acts as a natural wormer. Cost ratio vs chemical wormers is way less.
    The more "natural" to your areas conditions you can keep/raise your flock the better off they will be.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:What kind of wormer did you use? When I wormed it broke my heart to throw out a total of 135 eggs, but it had to be done. They never missed a day of laying that I could attribute to their worming.
     
  8. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Re worming: I've been using DE mixed in with their pellet feed, so I'm not expecting to need to do any worming. (Not had any sign of worms either... I figured preventative was better!!)

    Re grit: Mine free range and I see them picking gravel off the driveway. I have grit in the coop all the time but it doesn't seem to be going down at all. They need "decent sized" small stones to grind up their food, so if your soil is very fine (clay) with no stones in it then you will need it. Just offer it free access and they will take what they need.

    I also offer oyster shell in a small separate container (screwed to the wall) in the coop. That doesn't seem to be going down either?
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    This thread talks about worming in detail.

    Threehorses Worm Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213065&p=1

    One poster, Big C, posted this. Oyster shell is not grit. It is not hard enough to help grind up food. Try putting oyster shell and dried corn in a mortar and pestle and see which breaks up first.

    Access to native soil in the coop or run you'll likely not need any grit. One caveate here. If you feed whole corn you could mix oyster shell in with it.

    As several others mentioned, the actual need for extra grit depends on the soil thay are on. If it is rocky soil, they should keep scratching and finding more rock, but if you lived in Dulac or Cocodrie, (Coastal Louisiana marsh) I'd certainly supply grit. I'd expect you to be OK in Indiana but you may live on a drained swamp for all I know. Or if they are contained in a small run that you keep covered in organic material, they could have a problem getting sufficient grit. If you are concerned about grit, you can pick up pea sized or smaller rocks off a gravel road or driveway and put it in the run.
     
  10. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    1. Do you always give chickens worming meds or just if them seem sick??

    The absolute best thing to do is to take a stool sample to the vet (any vet can do this), and request a, "fecal egg count." (NOT a "fecal.") This way you can know for certain if your birds are wormy. Otherwise, I believe twice a year worming is done by most.

    Why do you need to give grit if they are in a dirt ground run and not if they are free range?

    The way I look at it is that granite grit is not that expensive. Why take a chance and allow other problems to arise. I just keep a small 2 sided kitty dish; one side filled with granite grit and the other side filled with oyster shells. If they need it, they will eat it. (Note: a few of my new layers had soft shelled eggs, so I took some of the "flour," from the oyster shells and mixed in with their feed as well.)​
     

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