Baby chicks need grit??

gardengal19May 4, 2011

Hi everyone!

I bought 12 baby chicks (Rhode Island reds and New Hampshire) a few days ago. I don't know how old they are but, they are just starting to show some feathers on their wing tips.

When should I start giving them grit and how should I do it?

This is a new adventure for me and the grandkids. We are excited and looking forward to some eggs in the fall. Hope all goes well.

Thanks for your input.


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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Grit acts like chicken teeth. If the chicks aren't eating anything but chick food, which is already finely ground, they don't need grit.

When you feed them anything that is whole or needs to be ground or "chewed", then the chicks need grit.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 7:36PM
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oregonwoodsmoke - thank you for your input. The feed that I have for them now is Dumor chick starter/grower and it is very finely ground. I didn't think they needed grit yet and your answer was most helpful in understanding the purpose of grit.
I'm sure I'll have a lot more questions and will post later.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:26PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

You can offer them plain old dirt as grit, just like Mother Nature does. :) I like to give my chicks a big, grassy dirt clod to play on/eat/scratch around in & on. They love it!

I assume you are also offering other foods besides just the starter...fresh greens, live mealworms, etc.? Chickens are omnivores like you and I and need a varied diet. Just make sure any foods you give are diced into tiny pieces that they cannot choke on, and grass is similarly cut up so it can't get wound up and cause a crop impaction.

I've got more info on my chicken site here, it may help answer questions for you. :) This is the section on chicks:

Enjoy your chicks!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Good advice already given.

I'll just add one suggestion for later. I put coarse sand in my coop and am very pleased. Cleanup has been simple (i use a cat liter scoop and garden rake). The sand will also provide grit for the birds, should they need/want grit (if all they eat is commercial feed they won't need grit).

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 1:23PM
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Thank you all so much for posting

Velvet - I've been reading 'jackshenhouse' I really like all your colorful hens and roos. I guess the only way for me to get special varieties would be through mail-order. I can't get into that this year. DH is still deciding on what kind of coop to build.

In the meantime - the chicks are in a big vat (from Tractor Supply and the
chicks came from there too). The vat is in our heated addition. I still keep a heat lamp over it - a water thing and a mason jar feeder. There is a chicken wire panel over their heads to keep them from flying out. They
can't quite make it out yet. But, it won't be long.

So far, they have only been eating 'chick food' but 'today' because all the grandkids are in town for Mother's Day - I'll try some greens and the grass clod. We don't use pesticides , etc. Trying to be as organic as we can.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 7:32AM
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