Fish Stones for grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SheeReno, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. SheeReno

    SheeReno Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hey all, our small flock is thriving and its very exciting. Our 3 infamous Silkies have been confirmed, rather loudly, to be boys. The 4th from that order seems to be pullet. 8 chickens in'd THAT happen?

    Anyway, we have some leftover aquarium stones, the small blue coated kind. Are they safe to use as a grit for the chickens? Just wanted to check before I filled a cup.
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    The little colored stones aren't stone. They are some type of plastic. Some natural looking aquarium gravels are actual stone but the little colored bits are not. They would not grind much. You want a hard sharp stone for grit. That's why granite is used. Plus who knows what is inside. A lot of aquarium items will actually kill your fish if the coating gets chipped.
  3. SheeReno

    SheeReno Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Never woulda known. They seem to do a good job foragin in their 4 or so backyard hours a day, but a lil extra from an already available source woulda been too good! Thanks!!
  4. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    In my experience aquarium rocks are really rocks, not plastic. But they're dyed and then coated with epoxy plastic. So it's basically a smooth piece of plastic with a rock inside.

    Don't feed the chickens fish gravel, please. Mix it with your potting soil for drainage in houseplants if you feel the need to reuse it.

    In fact, don't use bright colored gravel in fish tanks, either. Okay, I'm opining here, [​IMG] but fish look better and feel better with natural colored gravel. Fish want to be able to hide against the environment, and the bright colors freak them out. Even bright fish. They can see colors, and weird colored gravel goes against their hard-wired systems.

    I used to be able to buy a type of "filtration media" at a pet store near here, but they don't carry it any more. Imagine the rocks in an ant hill. That's what this stuff is. About 1/8", very angular, mostly Texas flint. Nice reds and browns. Great for aquatic plants, and makes an excellent under gravel filter media. I have to buy a 50 lb bag online in order to have some. Grr.

    Manna Pro is a brand of feed that also sells grit and oyster shell. I buy small bags of grit and shells, about 5 lbs, and mix it in with the scratch grains. I also toss a scoop of each in with the layer pellets. Hens know what they need in terms of grit and calcium, so they'll eat the rocks when they need to. They'll also find little rocks in your yard if you let them range in it to dig for worms and bugs and make little dust baths. They'll eat rocks as they hunt for bugs. They don't really need the gastroliths to digest pellets but if you give them scratch grains and fresh veg they need some rocks to get the nutrients out.
  5. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Yes, the colored gravel actually is gravel. But it is coated with an epoxy. Those little decorative 'marbles' for betta fish bowls can be plastic or glass, but the gravel really is gravel. And a lot of it is probably rather large for use as grit. I wouldn't use it. But I also don't need to buy grit as my chickens free-range all day on 7 acres of sand and gravel. It's not too expensive to buy grit at the feed store, though, if your chickens do not have access to the natural stuff on the ground.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by