When is grit absolutely necessary?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by musikfan6, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Sorry to be asking redundant questions folks, but everytime I read people's posts and comments, it gets me thinking.

    So when should I absolutely start using grit? I know they don't need it while on the chick starter, but I'm reading that it might be necessary with other treats you give. I've been thinking about trying some new things. Apples and grapes did nothing for them, but I think they might like crushed cheerios or shredded wheat biscuits. At any rate, when is the grit absolutely necessary? I don't want to hurt my little ladies or make them sick.

    Thanks all.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    My rule of thumb is, when you start letting your chicks eat anything other than chick starter, then it's time for the grit.

    The grit helps aid digestion, so it's not harmful. I just put a sprinkling over their food, kind of like when you add salt to your food. Just shake some onto their crumbles. Seems like if you put a bowl of grit down, they go crazy for it and start gobbling it up, so that's why I sprinkle it over their food, so they don't over do it.

    The first thing my chicks usually get other than crumbles is grass from outside. I put them in a playpen on some nice grass (without the bottom), so they can nibble on some grass, and I do provide grit then, to help them break down and digest that grass.
  3. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Thanks for this information. In saying that I don't want to hurt them, I meant that I don't want to feed them something without the grit if it absolutely needs the grit with it. I'm sure that if I tried to feed them other foods without the grit, it could possibly be harmful.

    Your advice is a good rule of thumb. Thanks again!
  4. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    x2. I usually stay away from treats when they are babies. Guess I just want them filling up on balanced food, getting as much nutrition as possible. Not that treats aren't ok, just never have done it. The first things my chicks get after chick starter is grass, and outside stuff too. Of course, I'm one of those that doesn't feed scraps to the dogs or cats, or gives any major treats to the goats etc. I'm kind of stingy, but we have alot of animals on a little budget, lol! The chickens get scraps, but just what is left over, or extra leafy greens I get for them when I can.( There on a bare yard right now). I agree that anything other than chick starter would probably require grit.
  5. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I put a bowl of grit in my brooder when the chicks are over a week old. They do seem to eat a lot the first day or two but then it levels out. I give mine small amounts of treats after they are a week old. Just remember that for chickens of any age that at least 90% of their diet should be a quality chicken feed (of a type appropriate for their age).
  6. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    If you are only giving them the starter, they do not need grit because the feed is already mashed up.When they get anything other than this, they need grit.
  7. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    once my chicks were getting anything but the starter food, i put a bowl of grit (with no calicum in it) in the coop.
  8. gapeach717

    gapeach717 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    North, ga
    i have been giving treats for 3 days now with no grit, I am going to go pick some up today and i guess do the sprinkle method with them. I hope I havent hurt their bellies by not giving grit from day one with snacks! :(
  9. mhschafer

    mhschafer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 1, 2012
    My farm store doesn't keep "chick grit." Could I use the grit for parakeets or canaries or finches at the pet store? I'm not sure how big chick grit is, as I've not seen it. The grit we use for our big chickens would be way too big
  10. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    Yes, parakeet grit is just fine.

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