Quick question from a new kid on the block

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cposz, May 14, 2009.

  1. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    We got a couple of 1-year-old RIR hens a few days ago and they have been a joy already, each one giving us a fresh egg every day!
    I have a quick question about feed. We've been giving them layer's crumble and always have oyster shells available. Once in awhile we'll give them an apple core or some carrot peels or lettuce (which they love!!).
    I am wondering about grit. If they always have oyster shell available, do they need grit, too? In a separate dish?
    Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. whippet128

    whippet128 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2009
    Yes yoiur chickens need grit to properly digest there food. I give mine grit in a pig feeder in the winter. they dont eat much during summer they get it out of the yard or off the driveway. You can buy the grit in a 50 lbs bag at the feed store. Or you can get crusher dust from local quary for next o nothing for small bag.
     
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ID/WA border
    Oyster shell is too soft and "digestible" to be of much use as grit, apparently. But, I don't worry about grit since there's so much sand and gravel in my backyard and the hens are out every day.

    That is, I don't worry about it as long as they can get to the yard. When there's lots of snow on the ground and they won't even cross it to go scratch under the deck - I figger they'd better have grit. Otherwise I need to be sure that the birds are only getting their milled feed or things that are cooked and soft.

    For whole grain and, really, for many foods that they are happy to eat, chickens should have grit to help them do the "milling" themselves. No teeth, you know . . .

    Steve
     
  4. spottedtail

    spottedtail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2007
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    cposz,

    I'm in MN too and #2 granite grit is cheap in our area.
    $3.50 to $5.50 for 50 lbs, depending where you buy it.
    Grit is essential, one bag will last you for years, and it costs only a few bucks....I'd call grit a good investment!

    spot
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  5. whippet128

    whippet128 Out Of The Brooder

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    one of the best investments for any type of food. WELL SAID!!!!. first time I brought home a bag of grit and opened up I thought I paid 8 bucks for a bag of my driveway. Shoot. The chickens seem to pic out the size they need. Now in the mineral we mix for out feed we put in some small grit just for insurance. Still feed crusher dust in a pig feeder on the wall. I live in WI and there are alot of quarries around me.
     
  6. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks! We have an ample supply of both grit and shell on hand, but we didn't know they could self-regulate.
     

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