Newbie question: What is grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SunValleyChicks, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. SunValleyChicks

    SunValleyChicks New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 5, 2009
    I have been reading that my chickens (6 month old laying hens) need grit and the oyster shell/dual purpose feed. I give them the dual purpose every day and they also have a feeder full of high protein chick starter mixed with chicken scratch (corn/seeds, etc) Do they also need Grit? What is it and is it something I have to do...? They free range every day all over our 2.5 acre property after they've laid their eggs for the morning....Thanks!
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    174
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    If they are free-ranging, they probably don't need supplemental grit. Grit is small stones that they keep in the gizzard and use to grind up the food (they don't have teeth, so swallow the food whole). Birds that are kept penned all the time need supplemental grit because they cannot find it naturally. But free range birds will find small pebbles to swallow and shouldn't need extra grit provided.
     
  3. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Chillin' With My Peeps

    392
    6
    119
    Jun 11, 2009
    Vanleer,TN
    [​IMG] If they free range, they already have access to "grit" or small pebbles, etc. You might consider putting them out some crushed oyster shell in a separate dish that they can take if they like. It helps with the quality of the egg shells for the layers. [​IMG]
     
  4. SunValleyChicks

    SunValleyChicks New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 5, 2009
    Thank you! Yes, they have access to all sorts of things in the yard, didn't think of them picking up the stones they needed. They have the oyster shell ground into their dual purpose feed dish...so they should be great. Thank you for the info!
     
  5. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    474
    0
    139
    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    I catch mine stealing the gravel from the driveway all the time. When I have the little ones in the brooder, I mix a little grit with their feed, just to help get them started, even though it probably isn't necessary, after that it is just an extra expense that they don't need. I suppose if someone kept them confined to raised pens they would need to add grit to their environment.
     
  6. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    24
    Jan 1, 2010
    Bryson City N.C.
    I bring home a 5 gal bucket of lime sand and they love it. River sand works for me when Im in a pinch, otherwise I give em a few hours to roam.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by