1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Grit

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Laura16002, May 5, 2008.

  1. Laura16002

    Laura16002 Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Jul 12, 2007
    Butler, PA
    I have always bought grit and mixed it in with my chicken's feed. I'm at the end of my grit supply and asked for another bag at my local feed store. The guy said they didn't have any, but said Layena is a complete feed and has grit mixed in with it already, so I don't need extra grit.
    I read that bag of Layena three times and didn't see where it says that grit is mixed in. Can anyone confirm this?
    I have two other feed stores I can go to for grit, not just this one.
    Laura
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,535
    67
    308
    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    The term "grit" covers a lot of ground.
    It can mean 'crop stones', the pebbles the bird uses to grind food in its crop, or gizzard. These stones are not metabilised by the bird, but rather remain in the crop.
    Grit also applies to oyster shell, which is a source of calcium and which the hen DOES absorb for the calcium so dear to the manufacture of strong eggshells.

    I don't know about Layena, but all the layer feed I'm familiar with has the needed grit element included.

    Here's the Purina promo copy for Layena:

    Purina Mills[​IMG] Layena[​IMG] SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe
    Once your laying birds reach 18 weeks of age, they will need Purina Mills[​IMG] Layena[​IMG] SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe to support egg laying. Natural and wholesome like the Start & Grow[​IMG] products, Layena[​IMG] contains high calcium levels to support strong eggshell formation while maintaining a healthy skeleton. In addition, Layena[​IMG] is fortified with manganese to enhance shell quality. High levels of xanthophyll from marigolds result in rich, yellow yolks, while the enhanced concentration of vitamin E provides for more robust immune protection. Purina Mills[​IMG] Layena[​IMG] SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe contains all the quality nutrients laying hens need to produce lots of strong-shelled, healthy, golden-yolked eggs.


    Sounds pretty good!
    The complete breakdown is found here:
    http://www.poultrynutrition.com/OURPRODUCTS/Products/Layena/default.aspx

    Grit itself is sort of a minor worry, really. For hens, oyster shell grit offers calcium for egg shells. Its not really there for grinding food in the crop, if that is your worry. With the Layena, it seems the eggs shell calcium need is covered in the feed.

    As for crop stone, if your birds have access to the out doors at all, they will get the grinding grit they need on their own. If not, I suspect they will do fine on the Layena alone.

    I wonder how the commercial egg folks handle this issue. Im sure the feed they use is eminently digestible without needing much crop grinding. But, what do they when it comes to egg shells? Even battery egg layers have to make a shell on their eggs. Do they feed oyster shell grit or a substitute separately, or as an in-feed component?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2008
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Ok, I may be wrong here but I don't believe that feed has grit added to it. Grit has to be offered separately.

    Although, as elderoo stated, if your chickens are ever outside on the ground ... they will get what they need for grit from the dirt, etc. I don't offer grit at all for my chickens as they are outside all day and also free range.
     
  4. Laura16002

    Laura16002 Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Jul 12, 2007
    Butler, PA
    Right. It's the grit for the crop I'm talking about. I've bought something called "Grainy Grit" before especially for this requirement. I mix about 1/4 cup of it in with the daily crumble ration for my 4 hens.
    I thought I should add it to aid break-down of grass and fruits and vegetables. Maybe not?
     
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,535
    67
    308
    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    I dunno. Are your chickens totally confined indoors, yet fed a ration that includes grain? If so, they will need something added in the way of grinding grit.

    If they get outside to scratch in the dirt, then likely they need nothing more than that.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by