Grit from the ground?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hennyhandler, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    I always heard and thought chickens could get "grit" from the ground if there was a run available and I wouldn't need to provide it. But I just read a post where it is said if you feed them anything but their feed than you need to give them it. And I can't find anything else stating that the ground would provide that when neccessary. I have some grit so it wouldn't be a problem to give them it just thought it wasn't as neccessary... [​IMG]
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    What is grit???
    Nothing other than small rocks!!

    Usually granite is sold for the birds because it's super-hard and lasts longer in the gizzard, BUT there's really no reason that sand, river pebbles, or other types of stone wouldn't work just fine. The only difference is that they'll use more of the softer rocks, but if they are picking it up for free out of the yard then who cares??

    I do supply free choice grit to my birds coz I want to ensure that they all get some, but I doubt it's necessary. It's not expensive so I figure, why not offer it and be sure about it? I bring them small rocks from the river in the summertime, but right now I have a bag of granite from TSC that will last us a good long while.

    Also this time of year much of the ground is either frozen or covered up in snow, so you might want to provide store-bought grit during the winter even if you don't normally in the summer months.
  3. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    The only times we supply "store bought grit" is during the winter, when the ground is frozen solid and covered in snow.
    hehehehe, I think I could start a gravel business, just by sending all the summer poo through a seive [​IMG]
    The amount of rocks and large sand is unbelievable!!!
  4. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Ok, yah I thought about that too. I have hay covering the ground and I got to worrying that they may not go looking for it as much. Just wanted to make sure they're getting everything they need. [​IMG] Thank you.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It depends on a few things. How much rock and sand does your soil have in it. How many birds and size of the run. Do you use litter or anything in the run to block them from getting to the soil and grit in it. Do you live in an area that does not have any rock in the soil? Swamp muck comes to mind but areas of loess deposit or other such areas could also be barren of rock.

    Chickens will dig around in dirt to get what they can out of it for grit or any possible nutrients. It is possible for your chickens to get all the grit they need from the soil but it is also possible they could not get enough, especially if they are restricted to a small area, the ground is not very rocky to begin with, and they have found most of the available grit. We all have different circumstances.

    I gather small rock, up to the size of a pea, from my gravel road and gravel drive and throw it into the run just to give them plenty of easy access to grit. If your roads are salted for ice, you probably don't want to do this as the salt is not good for them.

    I don't know which post you were looking at or the context. It could have been one of mine. Maybe the context was chicks in a brooder? The right way to say it is that they need grit if they have anything other than chicken starter, not necessarily that you have to give it to them.

    I just saw that others have posted while I was typing. I agree with them.

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