Will charcoal and oyster shell in bird grit hurt chicks?

Heathercp

Songster
11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
108
3
144
Chapel Hill, NC
I've got chicks in a run with their mom and they're eating all kinds of stuff. I think they need grit. They're 9 days old, btw.

I wasn't able to find chick grit at either of the places we buy our feed and regular grit, so I got bird gravel at PetSmart. They only had the 8-in1 kind with charcoal and oyster shell. Can I sprinkle this over the chicks food, or will the extra calcium and charcoal hurt them. I won't put a separate dish of it in the run, just "salt" their food with it.

They're scratching on dirt, but our soil isn't rocky or sandy at all, so I'm worried they wouldn't find enough small stones to grind up the stuff they're eating.

I don't have a photo of the chicks handy, but I did post a 1 minute video of the peeps dustbathing in some peat moss with their mom. Here's the link
 

acid_chipmunk

Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!
9 Years
Mar 29, 2010
4,708
12
211
At that age, the calcium will be harmful to their kidneys. With as little as they are, what they find in the ground should be good for now, but I would still look for the chick grit.
 

Heathercp

Songster
11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
108
3
144
Chapel Hill, NC
In the interest of better safe than sorry, I decided to make my own chick grit from the regular grit I had on hand.

I took a bit of the granite grit I had, wrapped it in a couple of layers of parchment paper and then wrapped that in duct tape. I then took a 5lb hammer to it on the concrete floor of the garage. I used an x-acto knife to cut cut open the package and dumped the pulverized grit onto a paper plate. The grit was full of flakes of paper, but gentle blowing was all it took to get rid of them. Like blowing chaff from wheat.

I sprinkled some of the finer dust over the chicks food and put the rest on the ground in the run. Now that I know it works, I'll make more and "salt" the whole run with it. At least I'll know for sure that there's grit out there for them to find as needed.
 

Heathercp

Songster
11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
108
3
144
Chapel Hill, NC
I didn't think my porcelain mortar and pestle would be up to the task. Now if I'd had one of those beautiful stone molcajetes....
 

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