Grit or Oyster Shells?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crittergal, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. crittergal

    crittergal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Ohio
    Hello,

    I have 13 adult hens, and now 11 chicks, 2-4 wks old. And 6 ducklings. [​IMG] I was wondering if I should give them grit or oyster shells? I have some Oyster shells for the hens, but the pieces are really big and they don't seem to really eat them. I looked at TSC today, and they have granite grit, and also oyster shells that are ground up finer than what I have. Which is best? or both? How old do they have to be before they get it? Sorry for so many questions. . . .

    P.S. the hens are free range, the chicks will be when they get older.

    Thank you!
     
  2. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    I believe the oyster shells are for calcium, not for grit. grit can be crushed granite, larger granules for adults and smaller for chicks. I don't think you should give the chicks oyster shells, they need grit if you are going to give them anything other than feed. I give mine grit everyday, because you never know what they might peck at and eat and they need that grit to help them digest. the chickens that free range will end up eating small rocks I think, but it never hurts give them some grit too, just in case they don't get enough. from what I understand, once they get an impacted crop, there's not much that can be done. but I am no expert, by no means.

    HTH!
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No oyster shells to non-laying birds. Grit grinds food, so they need grit if they are on anything except chick starter, including all greens and grains. If they have access to rocks, pebbles, etc, outside, they'll get their own grit.
     
  4. chickory

    chickory Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2009
    blue ridge , georgia
    they chicken gurus at the feed store told me that oyster was needed for my hen who breaks the eggs she lays.. she's looking for calcium. i bust up the oyster into smaller pieces i put in with crumbles. i saw her pecking at an abalone shell in my garden so even hen seems to know she needs it.
     
  5. crittergal

    crittergal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Ohio
    Thank you all for your replies, I think I understand it better now. [​IMG]
     

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