Chickens and grit

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dandread, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. dandread

    dandread Chirping

    Oct 20, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    I let my chickens free range for about 30 minutes.

    Afterwards I put them in coop run and give them vegetables. Carrot chunks, cabbage leaves, leafy greens.

    Do I need to also put grit in the run? I am assuming not since I assuming they get some dirt while grazing and the run has soil.

    Am I wrong?
  2. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Assuming your dirt has some small pebbles, you would be correct.
    VHoff, Chullicken, penny1960 and 3 others like this.
  3. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Crowing

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    It wouldn't be a bad idea to offer it anyway... If you see it disappear from where you offer it, then you know they may not be getting enough out and about...
  4. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    Grit is really cheap insurance. Although they probably do find it while foraging, I always make sure mine have it available free choice.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Depends on your soil. Fine silt? Clay without any insoluble pebbles? Thick black humus with no pebbles? Grab a shovel full and check it out.
    VHoff, penny1960, sourland and 3 others like this.
  6. Freisian

    Freisian Songster

    Jul 15, 2017
    East Sussex , England, UK
    Mine free range when I am here during the day which is about four days a week but still eat the grit in the pen it costs little over here, so definitely a worthwhile extra
  7. TheFluffyButt

    TheFluffyButt Chirping

    Jul 5, 2016
    It doesn't hurt having extra calcium available for them, they'll either eat it or not. Make sure you're giving them left overs that contain protein as well!
    You never know if they're finding those essential worms and grubs when they're foraging.

    I made a mealworm farm, its incredibly easy to set up and all it takes is a few small pieces of carrots every 3 or 4 days (depending on how many worms are in your farm).

    This website will tell you pretty much everything you need to know for your farm.

    I don't think I'd be wrong in saying mealworms are one of chickens most loved treats. I've managed to train my chickens using mealworms.

    For calcium, I give my ladies extremely fine eggshells. I boiled them, thoroughly clean them, then using a pestle and mortar, crush them as fine as can be.
    The eggshells are then left in a separate container so they can eat as they need.

    An extra warning, be sure to finely crush the egg shell and remove the membrane from the inside of the shell so your chickens don't recognize it as their own eggs, otherwise you'll start raising egg eaters!! :barnie
  8. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I offer Granite Grit in a separate container. Chickens use it to grind up seeds, grains, bugs and fibrous vegetation. Like grass and leafy vegetables. I have pebbles in my soil, but the ground is frozen solid, in winter.
    I also offer Oyster Shells in a separate container. Chickens use it to form egg shells. I feed a layers feed with 3.8 percent calcium. But during the summer my hens eat a lot less feed than in wintertime, with some free ranging and seeds for a treat. They still have a need for extra calcium. My five hens consume a 5 pound bag in 11 months on average. GC
  9. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    I rinse mine out a little, let them dry and crush them in my hand. Works for me and I don't have any egg eaters.
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I provide oyster shell in a separate dish and the grit I toss into my Run for the Chickens scratching pleasure..:frow:woot

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