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When do you need to add grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Treeva, May 9, 2011.

  1. Treeva

    Treeva In the Brooder

    Jan 24, 2011
    Another newbie question...my chicks are about a week old. We laid down some hay/straw in one end of the brooder under the heat lamp to give the chicks some cushioning to lay on. However I've noticed that they are scratching and pecking around in the hay/straw - do they need grit added to a bowl in the brooder? I honestly don't know if they are even eating anything, I just don't want to cause any issues.

    They are happy as can be with their straw "nest" but I just want to make sure I'm not causing them harm [​IMG]

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I know they are probably enjoying their hay but I would be concerned about them getting an impacted or sour crop from eating it. At the very least, yes I would offer grit. Just add a small amount of chick sized grit in a seperate container.
  3. epeloquin

    epeloquin Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    They need grit if they are eating anything other than their chick crumble.

    I would also check with someone on the straw. I bought a bale of straw from my local feed store last year for my wild strawberries and there were some bugs in it. I use wood shavings which I also got from the feed store - $6 for a whole bale. I couldn't believe my eyes when I went to Petco and saw a 10# bag of the same thing for $13.99!!! The bale I got is every bit of thirty pounds if not more.

    Anyway, you were asking about grit...I would offer it to them. I give it to my girls with oats which they love.
  4. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    My chicks start eating whole grains around 3-4 weeks, so we add grit then.
  5. florida lee

    florida lee Songster

    Apr 6, 2011
    My chicks are 5 weeks tomorrow, I've kept them on hay since day 1. I am lucky to know two people that are chicken savy, they have hundreds between them. they both have always used hay. I've had no problems with the hay, they (chicks) pick through it all the time, don't know if they are eating it or bugs or what. I started yesterday giving them some grit,,getting them ready for the Tractor.
    I give them a hard boiled egg once a week, they look forward to it. What kind of whole grain do you give them? Where do you get it? Would Quaker oats be ok, uncooked, unsweetened. Looking to give them something else. They will stay on the Purina start and grow until they start laying. they've been doing real well on it. Would like to introduce them to some whole grains.
    I've been putting them in the outside brooder box during the day as temps here have been in the mid 90's, low 60's at night. They sit by the wire front of the brooder waiting for a bug, or fl,y to wander into the brooder then the chase is on ,,funny to watch.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    You only need grit when you begin to feed your birds something that you yourself would need to chew with your teeth in order to eat it. I rarely bother with chick grit any more because all they get in their brooder is starter feed and gradually finely chopped greens.

    This time of year with the daytime highs going to 90 and above I turn my brooder lights off during the day for all but the very youngest of chicks. Come nightfall I turn them back on again.

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