Grit question and thanks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lucy4, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    Guys, thanks for all the treat suggestions! We are excited to try all the (non-bug) ideas. [​IMG]

    Ok, so someone mentioned grit. If your chickens have all-day access to a dirt run, do they still need grit? That's something I'm not clear on.

    Obviously, there's pebbles and gritty stuff in there. Would they need additional grit (store-bought or whatever) when I give them treats? I'm assuming they're eating bugs in there already and we haven't had any problems.

    Thanks again for the help!

  2. bradandcas

    bradandcas In the Brooder

    I read recently that chcikens need crushed oyster shells or shell grit to help digestion and something about making their egg shells harder when they lay.. Maybe someone could validate that as i am not completely sure. [​IMG]
  3. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    oyster shells and grit are two different things.
    Oyster shell is not grit. Oyster shell is for calcium for egg shells. To make sure their egg shells are nice and strong.
  4. bradandcas

    bradandcas In the Brooder

    okay thanks! What does the grit do then

  5. Dellwyn

    Dellwyn In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    Lucerne chaff is also a great form of calcium for strong shells.
  6. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    Since chickens don't have teeth they need grit to break down food. It is small stones that the bird stores in its gizzard, where they act like teeth and are used to grind up food.

    (oyster shell dissolve in the chicken's digestive system, grit does not)
  7. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    So... then I do need to buy grit? Or is outside pebbles, etc. sufficient?

  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I offer mine free choice tiny granite grits from my driveway.
    Granite is the grit you would buy - it's hard and does a good job. You need the tiny stuff, about the size of the grits that we eat.

    They don't eat nearly as much now that they can go outside as they did when I first offered it, but I know that they have it, ya know?
  9. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    I offer mine free choice of sand (from the garden, parakeet grit and regular granite grit. If you have tiny bits of rock in your garden, that is probably fine. You could also let them outside in a small pen to get grit on their own. Mine are loving to dust bathe when I put them out lately too.

  10. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I still sprinkle some grit on the ground of our run. I figure it gives them something to do & it can't hurt. My chooks are only 7wks old, so I use standard grit. Nothing w/calcium or oyster shells.

    The young man (boy, I sound old) @ the feed & seed store near me was SUPER helpful. He asked my chickens' age & proceeded to advise me on a grit type for their age. I plan on going there from now on [​IMG]

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