Grit? And What To Do With It?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Coturnix Quail, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello. So I have exactly 3 week old Pharaoh Coturnix quails outside, and I'm new at this. I've been reading that if you want to feed fruit or something you have to give them grit? Or if they have runny poop? I hear oyster shells but I'm too lazy to order them, so what exactly is grit? And would it work in place of oyster shells? Or I also hear crushed and baked eggshells? Hmm, what would work? Also, I hear to let them dust bathe in sand? Which I do have, so should I give them some sand too? Thanks.
     
  2. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    All birds should have grit available to them.oyster shells are probably best.Should be available at your feed store.They love to dust bath so I would add a pan of sand for them.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Am I wrong in believing oyster shell is mostly soluble and as such doesn't actually qualify as grit? Also, I wouldn't say grit can replace oyster shell - in my mind, grit is small pieces of stone and not much more, where as oyster shell is mostly calcium which is very important to laying quail.
    They need grit if you feed them grain - it'll help them get through the hulls and digest the grain. If you feed them a game bird crumble, they don't need grit, as the crumble is water soluble. But they still need oyster shell or another calcium supplement, as most feeds that has the correct amount of protein (24% +) doesn't have enough calcium for laying quail.
    As for the sand dust bath - yes, do give them one. Most quail love dust bathing. And to some extent the sand can even work as grit, if there are slightly larger particles in it.
     
  4. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, Thanks! Unfortuneately I have no local feed stores, so I order their crumble online. Would baked eggshells work? If not, where can I get oyster shells? So, if I feed them a fruit or something, I won't need to give them grit? Sorry, sience im new at this I'm not all that sure on what to do.
     
  5. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DK is right. Grit and oyster shell are two different things. Quail don't have stomachs like us,so no stomach acid to break down food. They have what is called a gizzard. Food in broken down in the gizzard through grinding. Birds swallow small rocks and sand (grit) which stays in the gizzard and helps to grind down food. Without the rocks, some foods will not be properly broken down; which would cause blockage.

    If your birds are housed outside on the ground you don't need to provide grit. They will pick around on the ground getting what they need. If they are in a raised cage you need to provide the grit. This can be store bought (make sure you get for chicks under 12 weeks not adult chicken), a scoop of clean dirt from your yard (i.e. no pesticides), or the sand you provide in the sand bath. Don't use play sand. It is too fine and can cause an impacted crop. Patio or multi purpose sand from the home improvement or garden store it good.

    Oyster shell should be provided to any laying quail. Ground egg shell is fine as a replacement for oyster shell. But oyster shell is too soft to be a good substitute for grit. Also, too much calcium is not good for birds that aren't laying eggs. I doubt they would consume it anyway as laying birds seem to know how much extra calcium they need.
     
  6. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!! I Did give one a first sand bath and I noticed it was eating small rocks and I was like what? But thanks for explaining. I did put in a box with sand earlier and they loved it. The would even lie down and sleep in it, it was so cute!! Any tips on taming? I want to tame them but they dont want to be tamed haha. Today I fed 3 of them some apple and they will do anything for it lol.
     
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't want to get too attached to my quail since I got mine for meat. However, I did want my breeders to be calm and okay with being handled when needed. So I feed them by hand. I just put my hand in the brooder with food and let them feed or walk on my hand. I also designed my brooder to have a partially screened wall so they could see me and my dogs. So they aren't pets but I would call them tame.
     
  8. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww thats cute. Most of mine are going to be for meat, but I'm going to keep a few that like me as pets and tame from there. Is it difficult to tame them? They don't really like being handled by me that much [​IMG]. Ahh but they're till cute . Wish me luck in training [​IMG]
     
  9. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine don't really like being held but they'll put up with it. Hand feeding really gets them used to your hand being close and they learn that good things come from you. Just put your hand at ground level and don't move it. Let them come to you. If they really like apple use that. Only give it by hand so they have to come to you if they want it. It just takes time and patience.
     
  10. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thanks!
     

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