Grit

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ice329, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. ice329

    ice329 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tell ya... there is more to chickens then I thought.

    I got a question on grit. I have a small beach area where I put many bags of Leveling sand. This sand is more fine pebbles and fine rocky type sand. Its not as fine as regular play sand. I got it at Lowes. Anyway I catch the Gunieas and Chicken there a lot munching out on it. I offered some to the quail and pheasant to sand bath in it, and they munched on it to.

    What do you think is this OK for them to use as grit? Also How long does grit last in them? Is it something that goes right threw them like feed or does it stay in them for a time?

    Sorry about all the newbie questions but I am very happy there are people to ask... Thank You Joey
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've seen yes and no answers to the question. I gave my chicks playground sand to play in from early on and some people said that it was equal to grit, but I've also seen people say sand is not a substitute for grit.

    So I just went out and got a bag of grit so as not to worry about it.
     
  3. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grit is the TEETH of the gizzard, its used to grind food so it can pass through the system. Birds know how much grit they need, and will know when they need more as the grit they have is worn down. The harder the grit the longer it will lost. Sortof like sandpaper, depending on what your sanding will determine when new sandpaper is needed.
     
  4. lngrid

    lngrid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Is that why I hear that most commercial grit is made of granite? Because granite is so hard and would last longer?

    Joey, what if you compare the size of the leveling sand particles to the size of commercial grit? If they're similar in size, wouldn't that be okay? It might wear out faster, but the birds could just eat more, couldn't they?

    I've never had birds before, so I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm just trying to work things out.
     
  5. ice329

    ice329 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The stuff I am talking about is Kolorscape step 2 leveling sand. Its ment for laying pavers but lots of people use it in fish tanks also. The thing about this sand is its actually sort of crushed pebbles and there are all differnt sizes from sand grain size to something the size of a pea and all inbetween... the reason I started with it is because they go over there and eat it anyway when there free ranging, so I offerd it to the game birds just to dust bath in it and they also ate some... so i guess I will use it until i got a probem.. no one really seems to know if I can or cant use it so for now I will go with the birds natural pick and it was this sand.
     
  6. LAMchop

    LAMchop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds OK to me. Birds know what is best for them, and if you don't mind them munching on your landscaping, I wouldn't worry about it. [​IMG] Just make sure they have a source of grit at all times.
    I use crusher run from the quarry for my birds. It ranges from very fine to pea-size gravel. No problems in many years.
     
  7. chicachic

    chicachic Out Of The Brooder

    Is the grit they sell at feed stores the same as the sand/gravel/granite you're talking about? Is it necessary to purchase it if the chickens have sandy soil to pick at(not all sand). The only grit I remember from my last ventures with chickens was pyster shell, andit came in pretty big chunks...I can't recall if the chickens liked it or not.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Oyster shell is not grit. It will get ground up in the gizzard by the grit and oyster shell will probably grind up some soft stuff, but it is not hard enough to last long enough for it to be a real grit substitute. And some of the food they eat (think seeds and grain) could be harder than the oyster shell, so the oyster shell would get ground up, not the food.

    Chickens can use any rock pea-sized and smaller as grit, including sand. The harder the grit the longer it will last. It does get ground down and passes through their system and eventually needs to be replaced. How often depends on how hard the grit is and how hard their food is that it is grinding up. If sand is all they can get, they will use that.

    Granite makes a great grit because it is so hard. Diamonds are harder than granite and would also make great grit, but my chickens are not getting diamonds for Christmas. If granite or diamonds are not available in the native rocks, the chickens will use what is there. If the native rock is limestone, they will get extra calcium out of that as it is ground up in the gizzard.

    That sand-gravel levelling mix sounds like it will work great. The upper sized limits for grit is about pea-sized. I processed some chickens yesterday and found some fairly large pieces of grit in their gizzard, about pea sized, so I know for a fact they can use something that size. I just go into my gravel road and get pea-sized gravel to throw in their run.
     
  9. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

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    Not to hijack this thread but just this morning when I was putting out some grit I was watching as the dish got tipped over and it all went into the sand and snow and I thought--- "am I wasting my time!?" why not just throw handfuls of grit out into the pens periodically rather than mess with special bowls that get knocked over all the time--- anyone do this? [​IMG]
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As I said in my post, I get gravel of the right size from a gravel road and throw it in the run. I throw it in the area they take their dust baths so they do find it. I've noticed when they take their dust baths they often peck at the ground. I assume they are getting some grit then.
     

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