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grit vs oyster shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by miss jay's mama, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. miss jay's mama

    miss jay's mama In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2008
    northeast PA
    I was under the impression that grit and oyster shell are two different things...Right? My DH picked up some grit from the feed store today but it looks exactly like the oyster shell. Now the oyster shell came in a sealed bag with oyster shell written all over it but the grit was in a genric bag, scooped out of a separate container. Are they supposed to look the same??? I have been giving them sand up until now but thought I had better switch them to something larger. Your advice is always appreciated.
    1 person likes this.
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    mine looks very different. My grit is reddish and like fine gravel, the oyster shell is whitish and more flaky. Some feed stores will tell you that oyster shell is grit. It is not grit. Jean
  3. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:I agree 100% they have almost the same color, but you can tell the diffrence, grit looks like small stons.

  4. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    They are very different. Oyster shell has a lot more dust in it (grit doesn't have much, if any) and the pieces are somewhat rounded, not angular like grit. I had to travel to three different feed stores before I found a new supply of grit. Each salesperson smiled at me tolerantly and said "Don't you mean _oyster shell_? That's what everyone comes in here looking for." Grrr.

    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  5. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    grit is for grinding food in the gizzard
    oyster shell is for calcium for egg production
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I agree with Marlinchaser. I've read several posts recently where people say there's no difference and they use oyster shell for grit. In my own experience I have seen a difference. If I leave oyster shell out in the rain for two days it starts to break down, like chalk. Not so with grit.
    Feed store people are the last ones I'd ask for advice on my chickens. I've taught the manager of the local co-op a thing or two. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. miss jay's mama

    miss jay's mama In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2008
    northeast PA
    I was afraid it was oyster shell. I really think it is after reading all of your responses. [​IMG]I'm going to have to find a feed store that carries actual grit. In the mean time I'll just keep giving them sand. In the warmer months I didn't worry about giving them grit. I figured between what they found in out in there run and the sand they would be fine. But now they don't like to go outside to much. I'm sure I could even buy grit online. Thanks
  8. risurocket

    risurocket Songster

    Jul 5, 2008
    Yeah, what Marlinchaser said... Oyster Shell is just for calcium and they should be given it on a voluntary basis. It does not provide grit as it dissolves in their crop. For Grit a tractor supply/feed mill should have something called Cherry Grit. But sand should be fine until you can get some. This is what we get for ours at a Farm and Fleet. http://www.cherrystonegrit.com/
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  9. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    Oh crap... I just mixed some Oyster Shells in with their food. Was that a major no no? I've used grit in the past - Southern States had both Oyster Shells and Grit.
  10. risurocket

    risurocket Songster

    Jul 5, 2008
    You can mix it with their food. It's not a major no no. If they are getting Layer's mash you can just give oyster shell to them in a separate bowl for them to go after on their own. Layers Mash should have enough calcium in it, but sometimes it just doesn't.

    Remember, Oyster shell is shell from oysters and *not* grit which is sand or gravel like rocks.

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