when to introduce grit and what kind

CKNNWBEE

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 2, 2012
79
0
72
We started to give 5 week old chicks all kinds of treats. Grass, sunflowers, potato, tomatoes, meal worms. Tonight their little crops looked full. Are they getting enough grit from soil?
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,519
600
486
I personally would provide additional Grit. My feed store sells bags of grit that can be mixed in with their regular feed.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
590
327
California, central valley
I would definitely provide grit as soon as they start eating anything besides chick crumbles. And watch them with the hay. If it is soft grass hay they can easily ingest to much of it and risk getting impacted crop. I've noticed my youngsters seem very curious about hay and want to gobble it down.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,682
15,689
777
Southeast Louisiana
 Tonight their little crops looked full.  Are they getting enough grit from soil?  

If they have access to the soil, they should be getting enough grit. That's the traditional way chickens have gotten grit for thousands of years.

You can always make some available if you want. Coarse construction sand works great. Don't get that superfine play sand. The particles are too small to do much good, though they can use it too. Whatever they get will be ground down to fine sand and pass on through their system and then they eat more. That play sand is so fine it pretty much just passes on through.

You can get small gravel from gravel driveways. You can always buy a bag of grit at the feed store. Just dump it in the ground and they'll get all they need. Maybe a bag of pea gravel. Most of that will be too big for themn to use but they'll find some the right size and use more as they grow.

It doesn't hurt to provide grit but in your case I very seriously doubt it's necessary since they have access to the ground.
 

CKNNWBEE

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 2, 2012
79
0
72
Thank all of you for your responses. They do have access to natural grit in yard, but how come their crops get so full?
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
590
327
California, central valley
That's normal for their crops to be full by the end of the day, in fact that's what you want to see. It will empty over night. What's not normal is if a bird still has a bulging crop first thing in the morning.

Sometimes when my grown hens come in at the end of a day of foraging in the pasture they look like they have a baseball in their crops! By morning, all gone and time to do it all again.
 

dl9976

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 5, 2012
74
2
31
Tennessee
they need grit from day 1 and at night they fill up their crops before they go bed...they eat thruought the night...it should have gone down by in the morning..it can be a little full..if their is an impacted crop you will know it...it will be HUGE.
 

stevetone

Chicken Advocate
9 Years
May 3, 2010
322
43
151
Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA
Their crop is a temporary holding area for food. As such, it fills and empties as the rest of the digestive system does its stuff. Food is not digested in the crop.

If you are feeding starter feed as their main food source then you are fine. There is no need for artificially introducing additional grit (particularly if they are roaming around outside).
 

kdwag

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 14, 2012
413
5
91
Northwest Ohio
My 10 week old pullets have access to the ground, but at times, they seem to devour grit out of their pan. They also have access to sand which is in the bottom of the their coop with shavings. I have had them on baby grit, at what age can you switch them to regular grit? I've read that they will only eat what they need but mine sure do seem to eat it often.
 

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