Gritty situation

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by herechicky, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. herechicky

    herechicky Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    It seems that common wisdom suggests that grit should be supplied free choice but when I put out a small bowl of it (a full measuring cup full), it is gone by the end of the day. I have 6 chickens that are using the grit right now. How long do they hold it in their beak? I don't know if they are just spilling it or what. At the rate it disappears and at $10/small bag, I'm going to go broke just on grit. I'd literally have to buy a bag a week just to keep up with the consumption. I recently started letting them free range and I've heard that they get their grit from the soil (there is plenty of rocky soil around). However, what about at nighttime? Do they maintain the grit from the day? I sometimes put extra oats, millet, flax seeds and such in their coop at night but now I'm worried they're going to choke or whatever happens when they don't have grit. I wish my chickens would just grow some teeth already!
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I'm so not the best person to answer this, seeing as I never once gave chickens grit. [​IMG]

    But I always figured they would get grit from the ground, and they did, and they never had health problems. Maybe try putting out half as much grit and see what happens?
  3. flatheadfisher

    flatheadfisher Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2010
    The grit accumulates in their gizzard and it helps them pulverize their food. I keep grit in cups for my pigeons (who don't get out of the coop) along with crushed oyster shells. However, I haven't given my chickens any grit because they have the run of the fenced-in back yard during the day. I get my "grit" from around a boat launch on a river near our house. There is plenty of sand with large pellets and very small gravel. The pigeons really like it. In other words, you don't have to buy grit - just be sure your birds get plenty of calcium.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by