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Provide grit with food inside coop?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WYchicks, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. WYchicks

    WYchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    How often do chickens need to eat grit? Originally food & water was offered only underneath the raised coop in the ladies run (they have 24/7 access to their run), but with the cold weather, we realized there would be days when the girls wouldn't leave the coop & needed food/water inside. Sized originally for roosting/nesting only, I've managed to squeeze in small feeders of water & food (already making plans to rebuild a BIGGER coop next spring). Our weather has been all over the place, so we haven't been able to get a feel for when the ladies will step outside; as of now, it's not often. Apparently we took home the biggest cold weather wimps the store had for sale - these girls do NOT like winter! (Not to worry, we made sure to buy winter-hardy chicken breeds) Can I mix a small amount of grit with their coop food to keep it to one container?

    Thanks for any advice! Ugh, just when I think I'm feeling less nervous about our hens & winter, something else crops up.
     
  2. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess you could mix it but it would be better to have separate containers. It does not have to be big,a small can(like a tuna can)nailed to the wall will work. I have plastic coffee cans for grit and oyster shell inside the coop for times the girls can't get down to bare ground.

    Larry
     
  3. Caseman

    Caseman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mix mine with food ..a little every day and mine are out in runs also.. got 4 new chickens and they are in cage to them selves gave them some and they picked thru the food and eat it all so that tells me the previous owner did not give it to them... either way is ok:)
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oxford NY
    If chickens have access to the outside chances are they can pick up all the grit they need. If not, or you happen to live in an area where their sold is nothing but loam, you should have a small container either inside or out with some granite grit in it. (Some people use sand but I'd recommend dedicated chicken grit--get the smallest amount possible since the birds won't use a lot of it.) After mine get past the chick stage and are allowed out, they can get as much as they need but during the winter when there is snow on the ground I supplement it by tossing some in the chicken coop. I bought a 50 lb bag 20 some years ago and still have a lot left.
     
  5. WYchicks

    WYchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:That's basically what we do - they're allowed into their run 24/7 & we provide a container of granite grit in the run next to their food & water. But our hens are avoiding going out in their run with the snow & cold we've had thus far. Their run is well-sheltered, but we've also had winds & it's been impossible to keep the snow out of it; one day it warmed up a bit & we covered the snow with leaves - they did wander out when the snow was covered. I'm now trying to find straw or hay bales that we can keep on hand to cover the snow. I was hoping they would go out in their run more, especially since their coop isn't very big, but it's not looking promising. I have small containers of food & water in their coop & will look at providing another small container of grit.

    I don't know why I can't get used to it, but is it ok for food/grit to get on the shavings & for them to scratch around in the shavings? As long as I'm keeping the shavings dry? I've always viewed the coop pine shavings as "poop only" & the run for food. We used to toss table scraps in the run, but those are freezing in this weather so I've been putting them in the coop in small containers. I'll have to clear a spot of dirt in the yard & physically pick the ladies up to put them outside the coop. They haven't given me much chance to get in there with DE & more shavings (we do DLM) & since they're spending so much time in the coop, it needs "refreshing" more often.

    Any tips to get chickens used to winter or will they simply be inactive for the next 4 months?? I already have plans for a more spacious coop to build next spring but my poor husband is tired of hearing me fret about the girls. [​IMG]
     
  6. emarble

    emarble Chillin' With My Peeps

    I buy my grit in #50 bags and will probably use that in a year with my 15 chooks! Mine have plenty of free range (Maybe not as much in the winter but prefer the grit to getting gravel from my driveway which they actually prefer! They would also prefer the concrete patio that is shaleing but im not sure that the broken powered pieces of concrete is good for them either! Any way what I am trying to say is they are allowed grit 24/7 in a dish next to their food year round

    The grit I buy is cleaned and baged and is about 5 to 7 dollars for 50 lbs and they probably waste more than they use but it last a long time /.I use the Pine shavings from the house in my garden for mulch and fertilizer so all and all its not going to waste cause a little grit is like sand and it keeps the soil loose and makes for a better garden area!!!

    A lot of How I feed and all comes from old time farming! My sister saw our father and mother raise chickens as a child


    They are like us in the respect that they don't ever really get used to winter! They like us just have to learn how to survive it (With Our Help of course)

    Ernie
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  7. Mogli

    Mogli Chillin' With My Peeps

    i dont know how to give grit in the winter time cause this is my 1st winter with chickens so i jus sprinkle alitte grit into there feeder mix it in is that a good way to give it to,em?
     
  8. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Don't put the grit in with their food, whether they are chicks or adult birds, since they will eat it instead of the food. Rather make it available in a separate feeder-- like a tuna can--or toss it in the litter or on the floor for them to pick up as needed.
     

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