Grit or No Grit--That is the question....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dixie&trixie, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. dixie&trixie

    dixie&trixie Songster

    May 26, 2010
    Yreka California
    Im totally confused on the issue of grit, sand, oyster shell...etc. I have 1 RIR and 1 Leghorn (both 4 weeks old) and picking up my baby BR today (5 days old). Also I havent introduced ANY treats yet. Any suggestions??
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Well to avoid confusing you even more by saying only give grit with certain foods, it's safest to say give grit when you start feeding treats/foods other than their chick starter, i.e., commercial food.
    Oyster shell is for hen of laying age only, as a calcium supplement. It DOES NOT take the place of grit.
  3. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I have to say I have never given grit only because they free range 12-14 hours a day. Never had to yet- [​IMG]
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I give my chicks grit when i first start giving them treats...
    and when they are adults i put larger grit in their coop if they want it...
    But i have the same bowl of grit in my coop for almost 2 years now.. [​IMG]
    I dont think that they eat it.. [​IMG]
    They must get "natural" grit from the yard or something...
  5. MaKettle

    MaKettle Songster

    Relative newbie chicks are almost 10 weeks old. My grit bag says to give to chicks 8 weeks & older though I've heard that you give it when they are eating things other than chick food. This didn't make a lot of sense to me as my chicks started eating lettuce, cabbage, oats, etc at about 2 weeks old & I wasn't those big chunks of grit to my chicks. So, I just started tossing a handful of grit into their food every day. I've heard that they know how much to eat & won't overdo it. The oyster shell thing is for laying hens oyster shell bag says to start at 18 weeks.

    Hope this helps!
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I give oyster shell and crushed egg shells to the laying hens only.

    I give grit to everyone, they'll only take it if they need it and it never hurts. However, an impacted crop is a big deal and is often deadly.
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Grit isn't used in the crop, it's used in the gizzard where the muscular walls of this organ crush food into smaller, more digestible bits against the rough edges of the grit stones. The risk of not giving grit would be that the food the bird consumes wouldn't be able to be digested, but this is not likely to be much of an issue for chickens offered chicken feed free choice. That's digestible without grit.

    Birds that have access to grit can still get impacted crops, unfortunately.
  8. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    i put some sand in the corner of the brooder and contain it with 2 bricks. the chicks get their grit from it and enjoy taking dust baths [​IMG]
  9. Quote:I use a plastic shoebox from $ store for my chicks...they love to take dust baths after they finish eating all they want.

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