What age do you introduce scratch and shell grit?.

EverythingZen

Songster
Nov 29, 2017
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I’ve got 4 new chicks, 2 weeks old. 2 bantam Wyandottes and 2 Rhode Island or Isa Browns (not sure which, they came from a school hatchery programme).
They currently just have water and starter crumble in their cage with pine shavings for the base. They are scratching and foraging a lot and I wasn’t sure if they are too young yet for scratch mix and shell grit.
Will they avoid the larger pieces that they may choke on?
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
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Feb 15, 2012
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Id focus on just protein from the chick starter right now. Then when theyre a couple months old start tossing them some scratch for a treat.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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If you offer anything besides the chick starter, do offer grit. In the USA, "grit' means granite or small rock chunks. Oyster shell isn't called 'grit' here, and it's not what these babies need; that's a calcium supplement for laying hens, not related to the stones that chickens need to break up food in their gizzards.
Mary
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
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I didn't offer my current Flock of seven Barred Rocks (11 weeks old) treats of any kind till they were 10 weeks old. They got Scratch Grains scattered in their pen over straw and pine shavings as their first treat. They get slightly over a quarter cup of Scratch mid-morning daily now.
They got Chick Grit Granite at two weeks and Poultry Grit size Granite around 7 weeks in a separate container. 20181029_093100.jpg .
They had access to grass and weeds in their pen for a couple of weeks till they consumed it.
I offered them Alfalfa flakes for greens after the grass disappeared.
They are growing up so fast. 20181029_093231.jpg . GC
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
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5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Mine get scratch as soon as they are integrated. Can't say if they can actually eat it at 4-6 weeks but they are free to eat it if they wish. Broody raised are from day one. I don't actually offer grit because we have lots of gravel around that works as grit. I would offer it anytime you feed anything beyond chick feed.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
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Feb 25, 2014
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I brood in a wire brooder pen out in the run. The adults can walk around then brooder on 3 sides. I toss a chunk of sod...weeds, grasses, roots, bugs and all....into the brooder when they are just a few days old. That’s the time when I also toss a handful of grit and scratch in, making sure there’s a line of it on both the chicks’ side of the brooder pen and on the adults’ side. They get used to feeding and scratching around head-to-head, but the Bigs can’t peck at the Littles. This helps immensely when I start integration at around 2 weeks old. Their feeders and waterers are also side by side with just the wire between them, again virtually eliminating feeder bullying when they are integrated. My chicks get scratch, fruits, veggies, leftovers...whatever the adults are snacking on, and grit until 4 weeks or so, when they are free ranging with the fl8ck and able to get grit on their own from the ground. That’s what a broody hen does with her babies....if she finds something to eat, they follow her lead and eat whatever it is right along with her.
 

EverythingZen

Songster
Nov 29, 2017
116
237
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AU
If you offer anything besides the chick starter, do offer grit. In the USA, "grit' means granite or small rock chunks. Oyster shell isn't called 'grit' here, and it's not what these babies need; that's a calcium supplement for laying hens, not related to the stones that chickens need to break up food in their gizzards.
Mary
The grit I got is actual crushed shells from ocean shells. I’ll look around for oyster shells when they are a bit older.
I’ll hold off the scratch until they are older too, I think. I’ve just introduced perches for them and they are too busy trying to play with them at the moment. I don’t have any adult chooks, so these kids have to learn everything on their own lol

Thanks for the help everyone
 

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