Grit....Needed Or Not...Where Can I Get It?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Stan, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Stan

    Stan Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Nov 25, 2009
    I have two Buff Orpington 4-month old hens. I do not free range them and they don't have access to dirt. I am feeding them a 50/50 mixture of Purina Chick Starter/and Flock Raiser. The question is ....do I need to feed them Grit...and where can I get it? The local feed stores only sell pigeon grit (which has 12% calcium...which is very high). I have heard of #2 Chicken Grit...but can't find it anywhere... Please help me understand Grit, when to provide it, and suggested sources (for the San Francisco Bay Area)....

    Stan
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,120
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Grit is sand and small pebbles up to the size of a pea for full grown chickens that they use in their gizzard to gring up their food. Most of what you purchase for chickens is granite since it is hard, thus lasting a long time, and cheap. A lot of feed stores sell it. You should have more than one in the Frisco area. A little grit usually lasts a long time.

    I don't buy grit. I go to my gravel road, gather some small stones and throw them in the run. If they salt your gravel roads or driveways, I would not use it since salt can be harmful to chickens. Some other sources could be construction sand and maybe pea gravel, though watch the pea gravel for aquariums. Sometimes the colored stuff is not really gravel.

    Grit does not have to be granite. Whatever the native rocks are in your region can be used by the chickens. If it is softer than granite, it is just ground up faster and they need to eat it more often. If the rock is limestone, they can get extra calcium, giving you some pretty hard egg shells.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Chickens need grit to grind up their food in the crop. If you are only feeding chicken feed, then I'm not sure that it's really necessary. However, if they eat anything in addition to that - including any rodents or anything that might invade their coop, they will need it. Birds that free range get their grit naturally from the dirt/ground but if they are confined, they need supplemented. I bought a 50 lb bag at the feed store for probably less than $8 and it really does last forever, especially with only a few birds. A small amount tossed in their feed every couple days is sufficient. Better to be safe than sorry.
     
  4. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    I place Grit & Sand in a bowl for my hens, so they always have access....The same with oystershell (bowl) If they need it, they have it, if they don't they leave it.
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    Chickens don't need grit to digest most poultry feed. It's already ground up. They do need it if they start getting other food items.
     
  6. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    398
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    My chickens are confined to a run but I feed them all kinds of scraps with their normal diet of Layer crumbles. I get my grit (granite) at Tractor Supply or Rural King.
     
  7. sjh

    sjh Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    108
    Apr 23, 2009
    Quote:Grit is used in the gizzard only. Not in the crop. The crop stores food.
     
  8. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    575
    6
    141
    Sep 7, 2008
    There are billions of chickens raised every year that have no access to grit. If they are fed hard, dry, whole grains, then grit may be necessary, but if fed processed chicken feed (crumbles or mash), grit is totally unnecessary. And, the grit is stored in the gizzard, not the crop.
     
  9. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    916
    4
    121
    Dec 14, 2009
    Oregon
    If your chickens eat anything firm, other than their layer crumble, they should have access to grit if not free-ranging/foraging. They do find small stones to eat if they are not confined to a coop/run. I buy #2 grit for my small flock, and keep it in a little crock in their run, just like I keep oyster shell available. They will eat it if they need it. Some farm stores carry small bags that are just a few pounds for small flocks. If you check your local stores by phone, I'll bet you find someone who carries it.
     
  10. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Quote:Grit is used in the gizzard only. Not in the crop. The crop stores food.

    That dawned on me after I replied [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by