grit vs oyster shell ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cookinmom, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    OK, I went to the feed store to get the girls another bag (they're first bag of layer food [​IMG] AAAWWW), and figured I should go ahead and get grit too and oyster shell for once that blessed first egg finally comes. The lady says to me, "The oyster shell IS grit". I say, you don't sell other grit, and she says no.
    So, is oyster shell sufficient or do they need other grit too? I have enough starter feed to last probably most of this week, at which time they will be almost 20 weeks old, so will it be ok to put out the oyster shell even if no eggs have come at that point ( [​IMG] ) ?
    I do still have about half a box of parakeet grit which I will continue to sprinkle in with their feed until its gone.
    What do y'all think?
  2. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    You are right, the feed store lady is wrong. Grit and oyster shell are 2 different things.
    And I would say go ahead and give your girls oyster shell, free choice. Have a dish or container of it out all the time. They will get what they need. It provides calcium for nice hard shelled eggs.
    Grit is needed in the chicken's crop to help grind up the food to be digested. My understanding is that most starter feed has grit in it. I can never find it listed as such on the ingredient label so I add the parakeet grit sprinkled on their food.
    When they can go outside to scratch, then they can get small pebbles and such as a grit replacement.
    I would hazard a guess that you will be getting some eggs real soon! [​IMG]
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    This is sOOOOO common! Oyster shell is not grit. If the chicken is not laying she does not need oyster shell and in fact, it will harm her development. At 20 weeks, you're close enough, though. I happen to have a gravel drive and walkway and live in the woods, so mine get all the grit they need, but sometimes, I put some out anyway.
    My feedstore sells limestone calcium in sandwich bags as grit. It looks like fine granite grit, so people probably don't know what they're actually giving their chicks. I can't get the owner to understand the difference. Wonder how many chicks she's inadvertently harmed.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  4. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Thank guys! I wasn't about to argue with the lady, but I know a lot of people here put out grit and oyster shell both. I'll keep on with the parakeet grit until I find some regular. I'll check some other feed stores.
    I think I'll hold off on the oyster shell until we actually have eggs, though. Don't want to mess anybody up inadvertently!

    I do let them out in the yard for a while in the evening, but our soil is mostly fine sand. Around here if you want gravel or pebbles, you just go to the store and buy 'em!

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