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#46821 - 08/19/02 01:33 PM When to give grit and oyster shell

OK my babies are almost 2 weeks old (this wednesday) all are eating good. laugh I have been putting the fine sand ontop of their food every day as sugessted starting on their 5th day of life. When can you actually put a bowl of grit (fine sand) in the pen with them and how old do they need to be for the oyster shell? I also was wondering if I can give them some ripe tomatoes, I have been cutting them some green grass(this is hard to find as most of our grass is in drought state frown )and placing it in their pen. confused

#46822 - 08/19/02 01:47 PM Re: When to give grit and oyster shell
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
As for giving grit free choice instead of putting in thier food. I started at about 4 weeks. No reason other than thats when I moved them out to the coop. I use a small wall mounted feeder for the grit. If you use a bowl it will be on the floor soon. I started free chioce oyster shell when they started laying eggs. I think tomatoes should be fine in moderation. They should love tomatoes laugh Two weeks old. Thats a fun age smile


#46823 - 08/19/02 02:11 PM Re: When to give grit and oyster shell

I never used grit for chicks, I was told it was in their feed.. (?) and they didn't get any till they were about 2 months old and on free range.. I have it in a bunny feeder (solid bottom) hung on the wall of their coop next to the hopper of oystershell and I've sprinkled it around their 'yard'.. and at the rate they're going through it it'll last me forever!! eek
As for the tomatoes, mine go gaga over 'em laugh and they love to drink the juice of those freshly chopped tomatoes!!
two weeks is such a fun age!! Full of personality!

#46824 - 08/19/02 04:51 PM Re: When to give grit and oyster shell

The MacMurrary catalog said to sprinkle the fine sand on their food like salt so thats what I do. My tomatoes are now small because of the heat and they taste so good and I wanted to share them with the chicks smile before they quite producing because the grasshoppers frown are eating the plants up. They are at a very cute age, I just enlarged their pen to half of the floor space of the chicken house. :p I figure we got two more weeks to get the fence up for their outside pen. We have discovered that the Barred Rocks and Golden lace Wyendotts are more aggressive when bugs are envolved. The Buff Orphintons are starting to be much bigger than the rest. I also have RI Reds and Brown Leghorns (for easter eggs wink ). I am just loving raising these guys.

#46825 - 08/19/02 06:28 PM Re: When to give grit and oyster shell
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
Grit is not really necessary when you are feeding milled poultry feeds. If birds were still on scratch grains with some of the other things fed in the 1920s and 1930's grit would be necessary. As for shell it is good to have it in hoppers if your birds run on the ground. The particle size of large oyster shell actually keeps it in the digestive tract at night when the eggs are forming so that calcium can be actively transported across the gut wall as needed when the birds system asks for more calcium in the blood stream. Cage birds can have a little calcium sprinkled on the feed in the late afternoon.


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