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When to start giving chicks grit

Posted by nhsuzanne z5 SW-NH (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 14, 06 at 15:54

When should I start giving my chicks grit? They are three weeks now and on starter feed and I don't plan on having them out on their own for a while.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Not sure what you mean by "don't plan on having them out on their own for a while." If you mean that they are not yet outside on the ground, perhaps they don't NEED grit yet. But why not offer it in a dish separate from their starter feed? It won't hurt them and they are going to need it as soon as they start eating other foods.

BTW, I would strongly advise giving them some finely chopped grass and dandelion greens as soon as possible. Not only does it provide extra nutrients, it helps to prevent pecking due to boredom. And it is fun to watch how excited they get, once they catch on that the green stuff is food!

Or dig a nice chunk of sod, dirt an all, and put it in their brooder. They'll really enjoy tearing it apart and it will give them greens, grit and insects/worms all in one package.


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Oops! Forgot to mention....

Be sure any greens you give them have not been treated with lawn products such as herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. And watch out for areas that might have a salt residue left from winter. These things could harm or even kill your chicks.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Good advice here...I always give my chicks a nice, nasty, grassy dirt clod, grass, roots, dirt and all. It provides them grit that is small enough for young chicks, plus the minerals, bugs and green matter that they need.

Bird grit can be offered when they are a little older, say around 2 months of age. Until then it's kind of big for them and dirt works just fine. I would give them a more varied diet than just water and chick starter--mealworms, corn on the cab, scrambled eggs, cooked chicken, etc. is all great. Basically anything that is healthy for you is healthy for them, chickens are omnivores just like you and I. :)

Velvet ~:>


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

LOL, Velvet... From whom do you think I learned about giving chicks clods of turf?

When I suggested grit, I was thinking "chick" grit, which is very fine. Here I can get "chick", "grower","hen" and "turkey" etc. I keep the first three in stock in my greenhouse... It is cheap and I like to have it handy.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

I love the idea of a chunk of sod!! Good thinking!

I am giving them finely chopped lettuces right now which they love. I am assuming that you are referring to fresh corn on the cob as opposed to dried.

They are on starter but I did not know if it was enough. I think I will go dig a chunk of sod for them!

THanks.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

This is kinda on topic, but only barely so. i thought of it when I read about taking dirt into the chicks. Long story short---.-- My husband put peat moss into a chick pen when we didn't have shavings. I shovelled it into a big bucket, (2' high, about the same wide) the size you put into a horse paddock for a waterer, and pulled it out into the hen pen, with the intention of dumping it into the garden.
But, aren't the hens just loving it!!! Quite often I find one in the peat moss, having a good ol' dust bath. They've dumped out about half of it (that straw will make good compost!).
Rather than take it out, I think I'll fill it up again when it gets low. What about adding diatomaceous earth to it? Would that help keep bugs down??


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Interesting idea! And particularly useful during our Ontario winters when outdoor dusting is impossible. In the good weather my hens have a great time dusting in the flowerbeds... Drat them! LOL

A lot of people swear by DE. It is not something I have tried yet, but I think it sounds worth checking out. If you try it, please post to give us a report on it.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Maggie, what is DE??


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

I mix a small amount of coarse sand into the chic mix. At about 3 weeks or so I'll start changing over to standard grit either mixed in the feed or offered separatly. If they are getting goodies other than starter they will need it.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Its DG not DE. "decomposed granite"


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Are DG (decomposed granite) and diatomaceous earth the same thing?
Diatomaceous earth (used for cleaning swimming pools) is a very fine substance. Our pool has not been used for years due to the extremely high energy costs here in the central valley .Perhaps since 06 when dunwakin sent in her suggestion, Diatomaceous earth is no longer in use for swimming pools.
Our 6 week old chickens are gobbling up the spiders along with many other bugs for which I am very grateful....Lina.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Diatomaceous earth is sometimes used to keep down mites. Decomposed granite is quite a different thing.


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RE: When to start giving chicks grit

Diatomaceous earth is sometimes used to keep down mites. Decomposed granite is quite a different thing.


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