Coral instead of grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dr.Doorlock, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently started feeding my girls EVERYTHING on their approved list. I ran out of grit today and wondered if they need it. The coral looks like it would be all the grit they need to grind up the seed treats I have been giving them.

    I would like some experienced opinions, please.
     
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    That's some expensive grit! [​IMG]

    Honestly though, they'll be okay if they go without for a spell. The grit they have already taken in will stay with them until it's ground up and passes through.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  3. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Actually, the coral is about the same price and the harvesting is good for the reef because it makes room for more LIVE coral.

    But will it work in place of grit?
     
  4. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Dr.Doorlock :

    Quote:Actually, the coral is about the same price and the harvesting is good for the reef because it makes room for more LIVE coral.

    But will it work in place of grit?

    Oh, you have an aquarium going? [​IMG] Neat-O!

    I think it would work. It can't be any worse than glass, pieces of wire, or small bits of metal (which I've found in the gizzards of chickens we slaughtered for eating).

    Coral has calcium in it? I think you wouldn't even need to feed supplemental calcium.​
     
  5. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they can free range there is no need for grit. I do not give mine grit, they pick it up out of the yard or drive way.

    Also on a side note I am not sure where you got your info about removing coral from the sea to make room for more, but there is alot of coral that depends on the dead coral skeleton to grow on. Is is not true. Plus when you have peeps down the messing with it they cause more damage then good. Trust me it is a subject I know TONS about.
     
  6. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The information I have I got from a BYC post:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=153207

    I find no matter what is posted there are different viewpoints. If coral drops off the reef naturally, it cannot grow in the deeper water, so why not use it to suppliment calcium and provide grit. My local feed & seed supplier assures me their source is NOT harming any reef. Please read the links. I hate to have someone thinking I am not ecologically minded.

    BTW, I would love to free range my hens, but they are still limited to my back yard. My wife and I were just talking this morning about clipping their wings so we could let them roam the backyard. Unfortunately, there is not a single piece of gravel or rock anywhere in my yard. I have to provide grit either with coral or gravel.
     
  7. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry if I came off strong. I just know lots of place have little respect when it comes to harvest of anything of the ocean floor. Even if they say other wise.
     
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Actually the pieces that fall off and the dead pieces can form the base for new coral to grow. If there is nothing there coral will have trouble attaching and growing. Reefs get bigger because coral builds on coral. The ocean has worked that way far longer than we've been around and had no trouble. I don't see how our removing anything is beneficial.

    As for use as grit I would bet coral is not hard enough. It may seem hard to you but it can be crushed easy. The real granite grit you can whack several times with a hammer and barely break it up. Oyster shell is often said to be too soft to use as a replacement for grit and it's much sturdier than coral. Calcium based rocks or other structures are not actually that hard. Which is good because the chickens need to be able to break it up and digest the calcium.
     
  9. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Akane. Yours was the answer I needed. Tomorrow morning I go to buy more grit.

    As for the coral and our shared care for the world in general, I will be doing more research. My wife and I both had a knee jerk reaction when I came home with coral instead of oyster shell. I immediately posted the question to BYC and that is where I got information to make me feel there is no harm done.

    For those who are still worried, please go back to the link to the earlier post and follow the link to the messages from my earlier inquiry. Reading the articles will give you an explination of what is allowed and considered not to be harmful.
     

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