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Washed Play Sand in Brooder and Pine shavings

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by harmesonfarm, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Everyone,

    Just wondering if it's ok that i put washed play sand in the brooder with my chicks who are between 3-6 weeks old...
    I use this sand as part of a dust bath for the older chickens and I want the young ones to get used to it...the only thing is i noticed they would mostly just eat it...

    I use pine shavings in there and i find they kind of just eat some of that too...they get sooo excited when i change it out and it's all fresh stuff, they go wild with chirping and scratching to find little bits of it to eat, is that ok too?

    I looked it up a little on the forum and it seems most people say not to use it for them, but i'm just wondering why? is it dangerous if they ingest it, or something else?

    As far as i know this is unbleached and washed play sand made by a concrete company so i'm hoping i can get the chicks used to it rather earlier than have them think of it as foreign.

    thanks!
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    As far as I know, play sand is safe. However, it's too fine to substitute as grit. If you wish to offer treats, you will need to provide store bought grit or sand with an assortment of different sized granules.

    Chicks will taste and try eating just about anything. As long as you provide plenty of clean, fresh water, they will simply flush it through their systems.

    Having baby chicks is such a trip, isn't it?
     
  3. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it is! These are our first baby chicks too, so i don't want to go messing things up [​IMG]

    Thanks for the confirmation, I'm not using it for grit so that should be good then.

    Mostly i've been giving them soil with worms and greens...would i be needing extra grit for that or is there enough in the soil? I sort of assumed there is...
    If their not getting enough grit are there symptoms that would start showing in the dropping, behaviour, etc.?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    To see if there's enough grit in the sod, try washing it through a strainer and see how much gravel is in it. My guess is there will be plenty.

    If your chicks are eating things requiring grit, you will see signs of digestive distress very quickly if they aren't able to get enough grit. For that reason, it's wise to take it very slow when introducing new things to eat.

    Their starter crumbles should be the primary food with other foods being offered in very strict moderation, such as a "taste", not as a supplement as you would with older chickens.
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Commercial grit is so cheap I really see no reason to not provide it as a side, it's cheap insurance and you can get it in the appropriate sizes for your birds so no guess work on size, and move up to bigger sizes as they mature...
     
  6. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wonderful information, thank you! I only give a few worms for entertainment and the sod clump once every couple days but perhaps i'll limit it even more?

    I know there's lots of rocks and stuff in the soil (is there ever) but perhaps i'll test it by running under water just in case.


    Perhaps i'll stop and get some, i just would prefer them to get used to the settings that we'll be moving them into in the future rather than getting them used to a more set up one. I could be wrong in that thought process though and perhaps it's better for them that way in the beginning and they accustom to it later on.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Broody hens seem to have no problem finding grit for their babies to eat when allowed out to forage. However, if you've restricted your chicks to a controlled environment, you need to supply grit. It's a matter of personal choice what source you select.

    Personally, I've never once bought grit for my chicks, which reminds me of when my friend, a cantankerous old lady, was in the hospital for pneumonia and the doctor wanted to put her on oxygen and she refused saying, "I won't pay for something I can get for free!" Same sentiment.

    My run is construction sand and it has all the different sizes of grit necessary for chicks and adults, so there's no need to buy grit. If you find there are plenty of small size gravel, a sixteenth of an inch on average, you should be good.
     
  8. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok great, thanks!
     
  9. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2015
    Nanaimo, BC
    for the pine shavings, is that ok they eat it? i'm sure most of what i'm seeing is the dry starter crumble they find that has spilled over but i'm pretty sure they nibble on the shavings too...
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Eating shavings is very common, but most chicks survive it just fine. Water is critical to their being able to flush out the undigestable stuff they consume.
     

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