Grit/Scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MyPaperMoon512, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm a newbie chicken mama (have had my 2 girls 2 weeks) and have a few questions that I hope someone can answer.

    What is the difference between grit and scratch?

    My chickens are about a year old and were given to me by a friend. They each lay an egg a day. We live in Florida and our soil is sandy. The chickens live in a coop/run my hubby built, so they have ground area to scratch around in and grass, etc. to supplement their diet of crumbles, which they were used to.

    Do they need grit and/or scratch? I want to keep my girls healthy.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Grit is small stones, chickens need it to grind up/ digest their food in their gizzard. If they have access to the ground in the run, they can probably find stones on their own, but it won't hurt to offer some to them.
    Scratch is a mix of grains (corn, wheat, milo) etc that is used as a treat or supplement to their diet, it is usually lower in protein than regular chicken feed so most commercial mixes recommend not feeding it as more than about 10% of their diet.
    You can usually find both at any place that sells chicken feed.
    Congratulations on your new chickens, am sure you will have lots of fun with them!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Good answer by Kelsie.

    I’ll answer one you did not ask, oyster shell. Hens need extra calcium for the egg shell when they are laying eggs. If all you feed them is Layer it should have something between 3.5% to 4.5% calcium (you can see that on the label) then they should get all the extra calcium they need. Many of us provide oyster shell on the side in case they need more calcium for the egg shells. Hens are usually pretty good about eating extra calcium if they need it but not eating a lot extra if they do not need it.

    An often made mistake, oyster shell is not grit. Oyster shell is fairly soft plus the chicken’s digestive juices will dissolve oyster shell. It does not last long enough to do much good as grit.
     
  4. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you both for your answers. I'll get some grit and calcium and offer it to them. I want to be a good mama. [​IMG]
     
  5. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you feed these things to them? Put In their food? Throw on ground?
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Throwing it in the run as a scratch, gives them something to do. Helps keep them out of trouble.
     

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