Will 8 week chicks self regulate their grit intake?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickieNikki, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. I toss in grass clippings/carrots/spinach/strawberry tops/apple leftovers/etc. every day. I toss in a few handsful of grit each time, but this time I filled their little chickie feeder with the chick grit and their hopper with feed. I left the chick feeder empty for 2 days (there was plenty in the hopper), and they still swarmed it like they were starving. The didn't hang there long--half a minute for most of them--but I wanted to be sure they won't pig out on crushed granite to the exclusion of their actual food and scraps. I just did it now, and the hopper is still over half full from last night's fill-up, so they weren't hungry, and I tossed in grass clippings and kitchen scraps, tossed grit in with that, and THEN when they lost their frenzied excitement, casually filled the chick feeder with their grit. I was hoping they would discover it a few at a time and eat it only as-needed, but they did come over in more of a crowd, and snacked for a bit.

    Can I leave a chick feeder of grit in the possession of 8 week olds who have had a varied diet for several weeks, or am I leaving the teenagers with the key to the liquor cabinet? And if it's too late, and I have overdosed them on grit, what are symptoms of a problem, and what do I do to fix it?

    Thanks...these birds are a lot of research to really take care of them right!
     
  2. Me + Peeps

    Me + Peeps In the Brooder

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    i would try just mixing grit into their food with one part grit and two parts food.
     
  3. noitulover

    noitulover Songster

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    it should be okay. although, i usually just mix it into their food, sprinkle some on the floor, and have a small pile on the floor.

    i do this from day 3 (when i remove the paper towels and let them sit on pine shavings). i do this so early in case they ingest some pine shavings, which they often do.
     
  4. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Songster

    I mix a little in with there food and then spread some out in the run. They seem to get what they need.
     
  5. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

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    I just put a pan of sand in the coop. Doesn't the regulation of grit come instinctively to them?
     
  6. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

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    I put a bowl of grit in with my chicks from day one...so far no problems...I sprinkle it in their brooder, I sprinkle it on their food and I give it to them straight if they'd rather have it that way...and like I said, so far everyone has self regulated [​IMG] and all has been well.... [​IMG]
     
  7. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

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    Quote:No sand thast is not good for them it will impact their crop. Use regular chick grit.

    Mixing the grit with the food is fine. Chick starter has it mixed in already but you need it for grower so you can add some to that if you wish and have a small dish extra. What you are seeing is the feeding frenzy. It is normal but to control it a bit you might add thier regular food before adding their grit to the brooder. If it makes you feel bad you can shoo them away right after you added it to the brooder so they do not get crazy with the frenzy. Once you shoo them off they will calm down and not gorge on it.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    ???

    It is my understanding that it is generally recommended to offer grit, like oyster shell, separately. If you mix it in the feed you are essentially forcing them to eat it.

    Some on here say we must offer grit, many say sand is fine, others say it is too fine to grind much up, and still others say they need no additional grit if they eat off the ground. Where I live the soil has a lot of sand and limestone. The local feed stores, which have been in operation for decades, do not carry grit. When I asked at one where it was, they thought I was talking about grits, the Southern food -- they had never even heard of it. And this is a farming and livestock area, full of chickens and other critters.

    I've never seen any research. Commercials just feed chicken feed, so they're not interested. Some of mine eat a fair amount of it, others never touch it. I won't put it in the feed because I want them to choose, whether they're really wise about it or not.

    I have not read about a crop being impacted by grit, but then, that doesn't mean it can't happen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2009
  9. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    I agree with ddawn.
     
  10. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

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    Quote:No sand thast is not good for them it will impact their crop. Use regular chick grit.

    Mixing the grit with the food is fine. Chick starter has it mixed in already but you need it for grower so you can add some to that if you wish and have a small dish extra. What you are seeing is the feeding frenzy. It is normal but to control it a bit you might add thier regular food before adding their grit to the brooder. If it makes you feel bad you can shoo them away right after you added it to the brooder so they do not get crazy with the frenzy. Once you shoo them off they will calm down and not gorge on it.

    Curious to hear more on this...our native dirt (that the girls peck on during the day) is sandy...really sandy...basically like beach sand...are you saying I will need to suppliment them with grit once they are full time free ranging???
     

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