Using dirt as grit for week old chicks.

JustChicky

Songster
11 Years
Feb 14, 2008
287
14
141
East Texas
I have been giving my chicks bugs & worms and they are catching some on their own. So I gave them a tuna can 1/3 full of fine, sandy dirt from outside about 4 hours ago. Now it is more than half gone. Is that normal consumption? I have 21 chicks and they are 1 week old.
 

Break an Egg

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
2,234
20
203
San Antonio
They may be scratching it around so that it looks like it's gone. If you want to give chicks some grit, go and buy some parakeet grit, it comes in a box you can get it at walmart for about $2.

They naturally do pick up sand and such when they eat off the dirt outside. I don't know about giving them dirt from outside.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
963
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
That should be fine. I bet they scratched most of it out. Dirt from outside will introduce them to the bugs and microorganisms in your local environment and will help build a strong immunity for when they are outside 24/7. A sterile environment of a brooder suddenly switched to the non sterile coop can over load a birds system.
 

twigg

Cooped up
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
1,389
7
171
Tulsa
Quote:This will work.

Although even small chicks can handle standard poultry grit. They will pick out the size they want, and chicken gizzards can contain some very large stones.

Sand won't help much, but they will *bathe* in it.
 

flinthillbillie

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 9, 2007
39
0
22
Flint Hill, VA
I bought parakeet grit last year when my chicks were teeny but when I got home and really looked at the box it said there was added calcium in it so I didn't use it. Maybe it's not enough to be a problem, but I kept reading that calcium too early isn't good for them. Can someone here who knows for sure clue us in?
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
963
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Yeah, too much calcium for them when they are young isn't so good and can be hard on their bodies. Nothing wrong with using sand/dirt from their future run.
 

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