Do our chickens need grit?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wordgirl, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    We live on 6 acres, and our flock will be free-range during the day. We have a dirt road, and plenty of little stones, pebbles, and gravel around. Will we need to supply extra grit for our chickens?

  2. baldie

    baldie Songster

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    No, that should be fine. They will get what they need free ranging. [​IMG]
  3. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    Uh...wait a second. I shouldn't have posted this here. How do I get rid of this thread, or move it to the Feeding section???
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Under those conditions, consider supplying crushed oyster shell when they are laying. Just offer it free choice and they will know how much to take.

    Birds dont have teeth, so they have a muscular pre-stomach where they grind the seeds and grain they consume into digestible pieces. This pre-stomach is the crop or gizzard and contains small stones and pebbles to do this "millwork." These grinding stones are what we rightly call "grit."
    As long as they can range in the soil and dirt, they will select the right grit stones on their own and swallow them into their crop.

    Crushed oyster shell, on the other hand, is digestible and adds calicum to their diet, so as to make for strong egg shells. It should not truly be called grit, but it is.

  5. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    Thank you, both of you! I saw that Fleet Farm has crushed oyster shell – we'll be sure to get a bag when the girls start laying. [​IMG]
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I have dishes of free choice grit and oyster shells for my girls. My birds also free range but the average stone materials they pick up are softer and wear down faster so I always have granite grit available for them.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009

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