How does everyone offer their chickens grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mahlzeit, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I've been having an issue with my chickens going through lots of grit. I have a 3lb hanging feeder I use for grit and all they do is spill it out daily. Everyone says a 50lb bag of grit should last a while. Seems my birds didn't get that memo. How do you all offer your grit and how fast does it disappear?
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Try putting it in a dog bowl. Do your birds free range? do you have deep litter in your run? If you have not yet turned your run into deep litter, simply broadcast a handfull on the ground now and then. If they free range, and have access to natural soil, and it's not terribly sandy, they may meet their needs from the naturally occurring grit in the soil.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I use 1 pint cage cups in each run like the one half way down the following page.

    I usually put 2 together with grit in one and oyster shell in the other. It really does last a long time. With 4 or 5 birds in a run, the pint container half full lasts a month or two. With 20 birds, it still lasts 2 or 3 weeks.
    Sometimes I'll just pour out a pile next to the door of a free range group. They pick it off the ground just like they would other stones they find.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If they're spilling it out of the feeder, they're not "going through it" as in eating it. The're just moving it. Let them eat it off the ground.

    I toss mine out in the run. A handful of grit and a handful of oyster shell, when I remember to do so.

    Chickens are designed to spend the majority of their time searching for food. When we provide feed in nice little containers, we make things much nicer for us, but that can create boredom issues for the birds. Scratching for grit and oyster shell and scratch gives them something to do with all their time.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I put my birds on soil. They dig for all the grit they need. In winter I toss a few handfuls of small gravel once a month collected from driveway in fall.

    Keep in mind that small stones act as birds teeth. If they are without them then the food is not a finely ground prior to entering the digestive system. What this means is they will eat more feed as they are not getting as much nutrient from it. Without grit in winter your feed bill will go up. If birds are kept on solid floors then the feed bill goes up unless grit is supplied. Birds on dirt? no worry except mid winter when everything has been frozen solid for a month. Feed bill starts to go up....
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    This is what I use[​IMG] A 1.3 quart pail I got from TSC. I use one for granite grit and one for oyster shell. Don't fill above top line. I remove handle and use eye screws to attach to frame post. I drilled 3/32 holes in bottom to drain moisture. GC
  7. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    They don't free range much this time of year. I only let them out to free range when I am home the rest of the time they are in a run which has deep litter wood chips and leaves.

    I know they aren't eating it and that it is good for them to scratch around for it. My worry is more along the lines of not knowing when they will need more if they empty it out immediately when I put some in.

    I have always had my birds on dirt and have never supplied them grit before but now I have the run filled with leaves and wood chips so I need to supply them grit as it is not as easy for them to find it. Also your post is not entirely accurate. Layer pellets and crumbles are designed to be eaten without grit. So if you have your birds strictly on those types of feed you will not need grit and they will not eat more feed.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I wouldn't worry over it too much....on the ground is where they are used to finding their grit. I'd just dump the bag in a corner of the run or coop and let them do as they wish with it. Six months later do it again.
    1 person likes this.

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