how, when and what to feed as grit, and scratch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ducks_rcool329, May 21, 2011.

  1. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Hello, I'm new to chickens, but I do have ducks. i know you don't feed ducks scratch, grit and oyster shells.

    What is it that you feed to adult chickens? (apart from the grower. layer feed)

    How do I use and feed grit, scratch grains, and oyster shells? Thanks!
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I just keep a small dish of grit and one of oyster shell in their coop, they take what they need. As far as scratch, mine just get a few handful's tossed in the run each morning when they go out. The layer feed is available at all times.
  3. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Your chickens won't need oyster shell until they start to lay--in fact it isn't good for them unless they're bodies are using it. As far as grit: I just toss it on the floor of the coop as soon as the chicks begin on something other than starter mash, especially if they are getting vegetation and meat(bugs/worms etc). Once they get outside and free range I stop giving it. I bought a 50 lb bag back 25+ years ago when I started and still have most of it. Scratch is a treat, usually to get them to do something--come in at night. It is kind of like chicken candy and, as such, its use should be limited. I normally don't feed it except during the winter. If I want to feed them a treat I go with BOSS.
  4. GreenGables

    GreenGables Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Quote:I've been keeping oyster shell in a small dish attached to the wall of their feeding area. I let the birds take it when they want. Two of my birds seem to pick at it while the other 3 birds really don't pick at it at all. Should I stop giving them access to it? I only fill it maybe once every few months. Thank you for your response.
  5. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    i give it to mine, free choice, have for years. never had any problems.

    some claim you will, though.

    if they're not laying yet, the may not need it, other than use as grit.
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:If your hens are laying they will take the oyster shell as they need it so leave it there. Most birds will ignore it otherwise. Just don't mix it in with nonlayer's food or give them laying feed as most contains calcium. As far as their using oyster shell for grit, it isn't a good choice as it dissolves, commercial grit is generally granite and will remain in the bird's gizzard. The purpose of grit is to grind the food up in the chicken's gizzard so it can be digested--they don't have teeth to do this.
  7. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wonder about quantity per day equivalent to age.
    1 day - 1 week ?
    1 week - 2 week ?
    2 week - 1 month ?
    1 month - 6 months ?
    6 months - 1 year ?
    1 year beyond - they eat how much per day ?
  8. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:Quantities of what? grit or scratch? Actually neither for first few weeks then grit in small amounts until they free range. I'd hold off on any scratch until they are a few months old at least then a handful for a flock would be enough--you don't want to fill them up on it.

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