curious about grit retention

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dana, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Dana

    Dana Out Of The Brooder

    82
    1
    41
    Dec 10, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Does anyone know how grit stays in the gizzard, and doesn't just move through it like everything else? It just doesn't make any sense to me that the gizzard could/would treat the grit any differently then food.
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    19
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Grit doesn't get broken down like food does, and its heavier than the food that is broken down, so it stays at the bottom of the gizzard, where it helps grind food.
     
  3. Dana

    Dana Out Of The Brooder

    82
    1
    41
    Dec 10, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Ok, I guess I was just picturing the gizzard wrong.[​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    47
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Now I am confused.

    What gizzard were you picturing? [​IMG]
     
  5. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

    775
    8
    151
    Jan 1, 2008
    Wikipedia wrote:Some animals that lack teeth will swallow stones or grit to aid in digestion. All birds have gizzards, but not all will swallow stones or grit. The birds that do, employ the following method of 'mastication':

    "A bird swallows small bits of gravel that act as 'teeth' in the gizzard, breaking down hard food such as seeds and thus helping digestion." (Solomon et. al, 2002).
    These stones are called gizzard stones or gastroliths and are usually smooth and round from the polishing action in the animal's stomach. When too smooth to do their required work, they may be passed or regurgitated.

    Does this make it clear as mud? [​IMG]
     
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I wonder if the old, smooth, used-up grit gets passed all at once. I once noticed a chicken poop that was fairly loaded with grit. It was weird. I monitored the bird for a while but she seems fine!
    Stacey
     
  7. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

    775
    8
    151
    Jan 1, 2008
    Could be, but if your chick are outside and I am sure they are, they are getting grit from the soil around them, I toss a cupful of contractors grade sand at them now and again and it goes quick.
    It's time to do it again. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dana

    Dana Out Of The Brooder

    82
    1
    41
    Dec 10, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Read my post again. I didn't say "I guess I was just picturing the wrong gizzard", but rather, "I guess I was just picturing the gizzard wrong". [​IMG]

    The stones my chickens eat are pretty small, so I wouldn't think that they'd be heavy enough to stay at the bottom, but would instead get mixed in with the food. However, I've never actually seen a chickens gizzard (and don't want to), so what do I know.
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    47
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Yes, I know what you said. I left a comment to bump your post to the top because it was buried on page 6 of my show new posts page and I thought it could be helpful to others to discuss. I am not the type to just type bump and move something up.

    Now -

    Make a fist. Now push a straw through your fisted hand. That's a gizard. There is a big tube like vessel that runs right through it. All thr food and grit passes through the tube. When you dispatch chickens and harvest the gizzard you cut about 3/4 through the muscle following what looks to be a 'natural seam line'. When the gizzard is turned inside out you will see it is just a big muscle that everything passes through. Even the grit passes through. It works sort of like millstones.
     
  10. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    That was the BEST explanation of how a gizzard works MissPrissy! Was never quite sure what happened with the grit and whether it passed through them at some point. I get it now [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by