Grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by raisinginalaska, May 11, 2016.

  1. raisinginalaska

    raisinginalaska Out Of The Brooder

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    I have read so many different things regarding grit for chickens... most things say if they eat commercial feed no grit, but if feeding table scraps or letting them free range to have grit available. Is that true?? Thanks!
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes. It's true. If your birds have access to dirt they will find their own grit.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Without teeth, grit, for all birds, gets lodged in the gizzard so they can grind up their food. It needs to be the appropriate size. Too small and it passes right through.
    Theoretically, if they only eat commercial feed they don't need it because the grains contained therein have already been ground. This is a yes and no. The grains aren't completely ground and the chickens can benefit from grit to break them down further. Also, regardless of what they're eating, grit helps develop the gizzard.
    For that reason, all birds should have grit.

    Free ranging birds can find their own grit IF the appropriate sized sharp stones are available in the forage area.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  4. raisinginalaska

    raisinginalaska Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, both of you! New to this raising chickens thing and so far it's been going well. But now that the chicks are roughly 4 weeks, I've wanted to let them roam outside during the afternoons. Our coop isn't finished yet so they're in a cage (meant for dogs? In our garage. They like it just fine, but with sunny days and temps in the high 60s, I figure everyone can benefit from some outdoor fun.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They grow fast so get that coop finished.

    At 4 weeks, they need #2 size grit but you can probably get #3 which is adult grit which is good for 7-10 week birds and there are smaller pieces in there.

    Grit is cheap and they don't go through a lot so there's no reason not to provide it
     
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In addition to a little free range time, a free and easy way to provide grit to your chicks is to dig up a clump of sod, grass/roots/dirt and all and put it in their pen. They will find plenty of decent sized grit in the sod, along with eating some of the grass and getting introduced to the local microbial flora.

    Our flock does free range, but we also provide grit. It's cheap and it doesn't hurt to make sure that they have more than enough. Sometimes they are cooped up for several days when we are out of town, so grit is essential during that time.

    X2 what @ChickenCanoe said, hurry up to finish the coop! They do grow fast!

    Some commercial feeds are so finely ground that grit is not needed. Most chick starter feeds also fit this category.
     

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