Eggshell, Granite grit, and oyster shell confusion....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenpredatorkiller, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. chickenpredatorkiller

    chickenpredatorkiller Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2011
    South Carolina
    I am REALLY confused on this subject... So ive heard that chickens need some type of grit to go in their gullet to help grind down food so it is digested easier (I have heard Oyster shell and Granite grit both work) but I have also heard that they need calcium (obtainable from eggshells) Is that right?
  2. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    Oyster shell is what I give to my girls for there calcium. I have never gave my girls grit, they pick at the ground all the time and so they get there "grit" from there. I am sure that some one else will pipe in on this.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    two different things
    Oyster shell provides calcium.
    Granite grit helps grind grain and other foods.
    If you only feed pellets, crumbles or mash - no grit is needed. That feed is ground grain and reformulated. If you feed scratch grains they need grit.
    Grit should be sized for the age/size of the bird. I don't give chicks anything but grower so I only use #3 Adult grit for grown birds.
    Totally free ranging birds with pebbles in the pasture don't need grit but it's always better to provide it.

    Oyster shell, while hard, dissolves in the system so does not provide the necessary strength of grit.
    Egg shells are a substitute for oyster shell but oyster shell is the best source of calcium available and is absorbed slowly. They need calcium absorbed all day but especially at night when shells are normally formed.
  4. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    I will say this the shells on my eggs are so strong that when they hit the floor they might crack but there is no mess to clean.
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Yes, as others have noted: grit is nondigestible. Poultry grit is usually granite chips, which have rough, irregular edges perfect for grinding food in the chicken's gizzard. If your chickens are free ranged, they can usually find their own grit, although some people like to provide poultry grit anyway, just in case.

    A calcium supplement is a digestible source of calcium. It can come from crushed up eggshells, or from oyster shell. Layer rations include calcium, but many people also offer oyster shell or some other form of supplemental calcium, just in case.
  6. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    Quote:X2. Great explanation [​IMG]
  7. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    What about raw cow milk for calcium....add bran and make a mash...or just plain milk....?

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