? About Grit & Oyster shells, for Chicks & Hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Joe.G, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Joe.G

    Joe.G Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I know I ask a lot of questions I am trying to learn.

    Ok I have some older Hens and I am getting some chicks next week, I have some 5 Lbs Bags of Grit & Oyster shells,

    How do I feed it?

    How Often do I feed it?

    Do I feed it to both the hens and the chicks?

    My Chickens will hopefully be able to free range by April, will I still need to give them the grit?

    Thanks
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Chick starter should have grit in it already. Oyster shell and added grit should be given free choice in separate bowl. Your chicks when they are 4 to 5 weeks old and out side will likely dig their own grit but can be given free choice grit also.
     
  3. gdplum

    gdplum Out Of The Brooder

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    ...or scatter it on the ground...and let the hens have the pleasure of finding something to eat...the natural way.
     
  4. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Joe.G

    Joe.G Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scatter it right in the coop? Can I mix the shells and the grit in with there food? Can I mix the grit and shells together and put them in a
    Separate feeder?
     
  6. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would be hesitant to mix the grit or shell into the food. The birds eat it at different rates and the boys don't need the extra calcium. Too much grit can cause impacted crops from what I have read. Personally I use side by side containers one with grit and the other with shell and refill as they need it. The oyster shell container goes down about 3 times faster then the grit one for my birds. But they generally only use what they need so the girls choose the shell when they need it and they all grab a bit of grit as they need it.
     
  7. Strikefalcon

    Strikefalcon Out Of The Brooder

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    I think where you put your feed, grit and water depends on your setup. We personally have 5 layers, in a 4' x 8' coop with a 15' x 30' run. We feed crumbles thru a wall feeder and toss scratch and grit / oyster in the run. We only throw the scratch when we can't see any in the run. same with the grit. the run is always open except when the overnight temps are below 0* F then we cover the opening with some cardboard. We change water 2x a day whether it is frozen or not. The girls are free ranged whenever possible. But they don't like going across the snow much. We have the water on a shelf in a wall to keep poop out. the food is on the wall to keep it off the floor. We also use a roost board to keep the poop out of pine chip flooring as much as possible. Hay in the nesting box and no straw any where. Works for us. That's the main thing. find what works for you,
     
  8. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    +1.

    And since both grit and shell are supplemental to whatever else they're getting, it's almost impossible to determine how much they need. They seem to do a good job of self-selecting, given the chance.
     
  9. Joe.G

    Joe.G Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ill Pick up two small feeders, and I ill attach them to the wall and just keep them full, one grit one shell..... What is scratch?
     
  10. Strikefalcon

    Strikefalcon Out Of The Brooder

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    it is whole grains, cracked corn, you can get nutrera or purina from fleet and farm stores or from feed mills. it is a "non complete" feed and promotes scratching for food in the chickens they really like it. and you need to make sure that they get grit to grind the seeds. you trow it on the ground and the birds search out the seeds by scratching in the grass.
     

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