Grit or Oyster Shell or Both

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by montana girl, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. montana girl

    montana girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried looking through the archived posts and can't find the answer to this, althout I am sure its out there.

    I am wondering if Oyster Shell does the same thing for the crop as grit does? I was told this, and have never fed my girls grit...

    Do I need to feed grit AND oyster shell?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Also.. will it hurt the 10 week old chicks to have access to the oyster shell?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jimmy47

    jimmy47 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oyster shell is for making the egg shells stronger and disolves and does not stay in the digestive system. Grit stays in the gizzard to help the chicken digest it's food by grinding it up like our teeth does our food. If the grit is too small for the size of the bird, it passes on through quickly. They sell grit in different sizes.
    I have read not to give your pullets oyster shells until close to time for them to lay. It is rather large and I have had young birds die where I suspected they got choked on a piece of oyster shell or grit that was too big for them.
    Just my two cents.
    Jim
     
  3. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are correct Jim. If you have adult laying hens, you need to provide oyster shell for them. Chicks don't, and shouldn't eat it. You can find out more details on feeding your fowl on my site HERE . Good luck!
     
  4. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Doesn't the grit in the gizzard wear down and pass, too? Or, do I have to be careful about them getting too much grit??
     
  5. Ericasl

    Ericasl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a dish of both out for my girls. I have no chicks. I do not think my girls need grit because they free range, but I just want to give them the option, they eat it so I just keep putting it out when it runs low.
     
  6. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is correct, if you free range them, or just have them on the ground, they will get the grit they need. It doesn't hurt to have it as a free choice option though, just don't mix it in your feed.
     
  7. professor-yellow

    professor-yellow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Typical milled feed requires no grit for digestion. If you feed scratch or grains then grit should be used for a digestive aid. if you have small sand size pebbles they do not need to be supplemented, as they will pick grit when they need to. But if their range is ,imited, then throwing out or seeding an area of grit for them is a good idea.
     
  8. montana girl

    montana girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks so much for the replies.

    My girls have a 12X18 run that is on the ground, full of dirt and pebbles. I am still going to get some grit and just have it there if they want it though.

    I am glad I asked though as I thought oyster shell did the same thing.

    Edited after I went to CUDA's site... Cuda on your website it says :
    Suitable grit can be found in many forms such as granite fines, oyster shell, or even the gravel on your walk.

    so.. does this mean that you believe oyster shell can do the same thing as grit? It wouldnt be the first time I have heard this , as this is what I was originally told, although I dont know who told me lol.

    Thanks again!

    Darlene​
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  9. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, oyster shells work as grit until they dissolve. It isn't as good as granite, because granite doesn't dissolve like the oyster shells do, but it does function as grit while in their system. If you're birds are on the ground though, they won't eat it for grit, they will eat if for calcium. The grit will come naturally from them pecking in the dirt. If they aren't on the ground, and you want to use oyster shells for their sole source of grit, it is not the best source, but will work is what I mean by this. Does this help?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  10. montana girl

    montana girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It helps so much. Thank you! My girls are on the ground in a run...with lots of dirt and smaller rocks so I won't worry too much about grit and will keep on giving the oyster shells for calcium.

    thanks again!
    Darlene
     

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