Offering grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by imama2many, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. imama2many

    imama2many Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 29.5 week chickens, 2 Dom's and 2 barred rocks.... only 1 so far is producing eggs. They have an open air enclosed run area. It is diet with some pine shavings/bedding to minimize muddy mess! I'm wondering if the dirt on the ground is sufficient for "grit"?
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Is the dirt really fine or does it have some larger, harder particles? And approximately how large is the run area? I personally would offer your birds grit unless the area is fairly large and has somewhat sandy soil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  3. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    Agreed-- I would go ahead and put some out. It never hurts to have it available, but it can hurt to not have it available.
     
  4. imama2many

    imama2many Out Of The Brooder

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    It's about 4.5' x 5' square area (there is also a covered dirt run area that is about 3'x4.5' square area) the soil is mostly Sandy, loose, some pebbles... I don't know how to describe it? I have noticed in the corners they are digging, scratching, pecking and I've had to replace dirt there. What should I use for supplemental grit?
     
  5. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grit is pretty cheap and doesn't spoil. So even though our chickens have a large run and can peck in the dirt, I keep it available. Chickens know to consume it if necessary and leave it alone other times, same with oyster shell.

    ETA: Grit has nothing to do with egg production, it aids digestion. Chickens don't have teeth, grit helps "chew" their food.

    Oyster shell adds calcium to the diet for strong, hard shells.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  6. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    Most feed stores sell grit (little pieces of ground up granite) for fairly cheap, a 5 lb bag will last you a few months if you have a small flock.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Since you are in the US (thanks for including your location in your signature, that helps) the grit you see at the feed store is what you want. It’s made of granite, is insoluble, and helps them grind their food in the gizzard. In the UK and other places, grit can also mean soluble oyster shell, talk about being divided by a similar language.

    In the soil you describe they should be getting sufficient grit on their own. However it’s pretty inexpensive and it certainly doesn’t hurt. That comment on the bag Mymilliefleur showed “feed with coarse grains” does not mean to mix it with their food. It means they should have grit if you feed coarse grains but that also means practically any treat. Do not mix it with the food but offer it separately. You can put it in a separate container but why not just pour it on the ground where they like to scratch so they can have the fun of finding it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. imama2many

    imama2many Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks all... I'm in the western part of the Rocky Mtn's and there is granite all around! (when I first moved here, we laughed that we finally knew why it was called "the ROCKY Mtn's! Rocks the size of human heads in the ground every!) Last time I was at the feed store (buying oyster shells) I looked for grit and didn't see any. I never asked an employee but I'm wondering if it wasn't obviously on the shelf because they know it's not something our chickens in our region need supplementation with? I will ask next time I'm in.

    How much should be offered? A cup? 2 cups? Same with the oyster shells... I put them in a metal loaf pan and they knocked it over and finished it off pretty quickly? (about 2 cups worth gone within only a few hours)??
     
  9. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our feeder hangs on the wall, grit on the left/oyster shell on the right. (In the pic the oyster shell side was empty since the chicks weren't laying yet). Hubs made this one but you can buy dispensers.

    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  10. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    Ridgerunner is correct, I didn't notice that on the bag, and I agree, don't mix the grit with their feed, I give my birds a separate dish of both oyster shells and grit free choice, they will eat what they need. If they ate the Oyster shells that fast than they need them. I would go ahead and give them some grit, if they don't touch it, than they probably don't need it, and are getting plenty of grit from the soil. Good luck with your flock! [​IMG]
     

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