when to use grit

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chick-e-chick, May 9, 2008.

  1. chick-e-chick

    chick-e-chick In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    Hello, I'm new to chickens and have been 'lurking' around this site for a while.

    We have 3 six week old chicks. They're still on the starter feed at the moment plus we've just started to keep them outside which they seem to be thoroughly enjoying so they are also scratching about in the soil and eating greenery and 'bugs'. As a treat I give them yoghurt with their feed mixed in which I read about on one of the postings here.

    I've read and heard two opinions.....one that chickens need grit to aid digestion, the other that they only need grit when they start to lay so I'm a little confused and worried.....should I be giving them grit yet?

    I'd appreciate any opinions that you more experienced folk have.
  2. Josie

    Josie Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hi and Welcome!
    I think someone got "grit" confused with oyster shells. The oysters are for calcium, and that is why it is for laying birds. They need grit when they start eating food other than there starter feed. If your chickies have access to dirt, chances are they have picked up their own grit already. I have never supplied grit to my girls without any repercussions.
  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I use grit outside in their run, just a sprinkling, every few days. They also have acess to dirt, but they also like having the grit. My chooks eat lots of veggies, fruit, and grass, so the grit helps them out a bit.
  4. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I have six week old chicks, too, and feed them the yogurt mixed with feed, and was also wondering about buying a bag of grit for them. My older chickens freerange on a huge grit-covered driveway, so I don't worry about them.

    Meanwhile I've been giving the babies a handful of soil mixed with the littlest driveway stones every day, and they love it.

    yeah, when they start laying they need oyster shell, which dissolves in their crop, unlike grit.
  5. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    If using stones/dirt from driveways be sure to be cautious as antifreeze, oil and other liquids can leak into them over time from your cars, and from other people who use your drive.
  6. If you chicks are outside and can dig in the dirt, they dont need grit. If they are in a coop with no access to dirt supply them with a little chick grit in their food.
  7. curliet

    curliet Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    west Michigan
    [​IMG] You guys are so ahead of me! I was just getting ready to post and ask about this, as our chicks are starting to spend the day outside in a "playpen", but are mainly still on starter feed. I'm glad to see that I won't have to really worry about this. Thanks for answering my question before i could ask it, LOL.
  8. chick-e-chick

    chick-e-chick In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    Thanks for the replies, I won't worry too much then, they love scratching around in the dirt so must be getting the grit on their own [​IMG] I'll think about oyster shells in a few months time!

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