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Offering grit?

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

  1. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read very often not to mix grit or oyster shell with your birds' food and the reason is that it doesn't allow for self-regulation and so they will be "forced" to ingest more than they need. I don't understand this. My birds seemingly have laser guided accuracy when it comes to food. They can nail a mosquito out of the air while on the run. Their vision is superb at the distance between their beak and the ground. When I hold out a handful of scratch I know in exactly what order they will eat the grains. If there is a sunflower seed amongst a bunch of oats they will nail that seed dead on every time. They can tell the difference between a grain of barley, a kernel of corn, and a pellet of feed. The point is, I just cannot see them accidentally ingesting grit or oyster shell. If they ate it, I'm darn sure that they meant to eat it. Maybe it's more of an issue if you feed fermented or wet feed where everything sticks together, but I just don't see it being a problem mixing it with pellets. If someone has a more compelling argument for not mixing them, I'd love to hear it.
     
  2. Chicken girl 15

    Chicken girl 15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only good reason for not mixing grit and oyster shell in is that my crazy flock has fun digging it out of the grass. They won't eat it from a dish but tossed about they love finding the treats. They get oyster shell and grit and whatever living critters try to get past them. It for me is all in the enjoyment of watching them "be chickens " and dig around.
     
  3. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depending on your feeder type, they will flick food everywhere to get what they want.

    Having only one type of feed in the feeder helps eliminate this practice.
     
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right. A reason that has nothing to do with accidental "overdose" of grit or oyster shell or something else detrimental to the birds. I can see how mixing them in might promote wasted food and therefore wasted money but I've read keeping them separate touted as a best practice for the health of the birds.
     
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:

    The oyster shell I use came in a 50 pound bag.

    Oyster shell is easily pulverized.

    There is a considerable amount of oyster shell powder in the bag.

    Resembles wheat flower in texture and appearance.

    Mixing it with the pelleted feed will inevitably increase the calcium percentage of the pelleted feed, as the powder residue will coat the feed pellets.

    No avoiding this.

    Thus, I have a three tube feeding station.

    Middle one currently contains layer pellets with calcium already included, flanked by insoluble granite grit, and soluble oyster shell grit.

    Free choice, I don't feed layer pellets when I have a mixed aged flock.

    Hope this helps.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Chicken girl 15

    Chicken girl 15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I hope you don't mind but I am stealing your idea for the tube feeder. I love that. I will have to use 3 or 4 stations though. I have 20 birds.
     
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    This feeder currently feeds 14 birds and the feed lasts about 30 days, center tube feed is supplied by up cycled water bottle "reserve".
    My observations, could easily accommodate many, many more birds.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Middle tube contains feed, and is supplied by the "water bottle" reserve.

    Far left and right tubes have removable caps and are filled with granite and oyster shell grits, each separate. Built this well over a year ago and have yet to refill the grit tubes. The birds don't require much, but it is available if they desire, all free choice.

    No, as in zero waste.

    Paver platform helps with their nail maintenance.

    I designed this for infrequent refills, and as a compact foot print feeder station.



    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  8. Deleon98

    Deleon98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What happens with grit after they eat it? Do they pass it through their poop? Ik it sots in their lottle food pouch but what happens to it lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Grit stays in there gizzard and ground down much like there food. Once it is ground down it is then passed out the body.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Amiti

    Amiti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After reading this thread, I think I shouldn't need to offer grit. I don't have dirt unless I add it. Mostly rock n sand, but I put a thin layer of dirt in their coop and a neighbor is saving me some ash from their fireplace... is that sufficient?
     

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