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When to start grit?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by New Chickadee, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. New Chickadee

    New Chickadee Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    Ventura, CA
    My chicks range from 5 to 8 weeks. They're still on chick starter feed but are outside pecking away at the ground and grass. The grit bag says to start giving grit at 8 weeks old once they start a heavier grain food. Should I start giving the grit now? Any harm to the youngest chick? And I was planning on feeding them chick starter until 4 months of age; is this correct? Thanks, trusty BYC folks!
  2. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    We start grit as early as one week and never had any problems.
  3. drifter

    drifter Out Of The Brooder

    May 26, 2011
    When you give them grit, just put some in a bowl or do you mix it into their food ?
  4. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just gave dirt from our yard (I think they were 2 weeks or so) and put it in a square baking dish (that I don't plan to use again [​IMG] ) and they just scratched it all out of the dish anyway.
  5. bloom_ss

    bloom_ss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2011
    Spokane Valley, WA
    Glad you asked this because I was wondering the same thing! [​IMG] My chicks are just one week old though and this is my first time raising chickens.
  6. tiny529

    tiny529 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    My one book said that if you haven't introduced grit by 6 days, it's a good time to start. (I've got no real knowledge... Just book knowledge! [​IMG])

    New Chickadee... I see that you have a Basset. We do too! And a Newf. Our house is slobber-city. [​IMG]
  7. New Chickadee

    New Chickadee Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    Ventura, CA
    Quote:You must have a lot of slobber! We adopted George a year ago and got lucky: he hardly ever drools! He's the biggest love bug I've ever met, and I'm totally in love with him. He's been really good with the chicks so far; I'm hoping they'll be friends.
  8. tiny529

    tiny529 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Quote:Lucky! We find slobber on the ceiling on the regular basis... [​IMG]

    I haven't introduced the pooches to the chicks yet as they are upstairs and the dogs have to stay downstairs (besides not wanting a ton of dog hair upstairs, we worry that they will get hurt going up and down the hardwood steps), but they'll meet once the girls go outside. Both of my guys are getting up there. Gus, my Basset, is almost 8, and Gandalf, my Newf, just turned 7. I don't expect that there will be any issues. They get along with just about every animal they meet. Gandalf sometimes has issues with anything bigger than him, but there isn't much out there that IS bigger than him! [​IMG]
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:A broody hen gives her chicks grit the minute they are on the ground. You can start as young as you want to. It won't hurt them.

    If they are on grass, they are getting grit.

    The normal progression (as if anything to do with chickens is normal) is to feed them Starter until somewhere between 4 to 8 weeks, then switch to Grower. Feed grower until they are either 20 weeks old or they start to lay, whichever happens first, then switch to Layer.

    If you cannot get Starter or Grower but your feed store only carries a combined Starter/Grower, you can feed the combined Starter/Grower until you switch to layer.

    Some people feed what is called Flock Raiser from the start until they switch to Layer.

    I don't recommend feeding Starter to chicks after about 8 weeks. It has a bit more protein that they really need. But some people do.

    The only real rule in all this is to not feed then Layer until they are 20 weeks old or the first one starts to lay. The extra calcium in Layer is not good for growing chicks.

    This may sound complicated but it really is not. Practically anything works as long as you don't start them on Layer too soon.
  10. adgcountrygirl

    adgcountrygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I started the chick grit when it said to on the back of the bag. All my chicks were hatched within 3 days of eachother.

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