Rocks for digesting food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nhchickmom, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    104
    4
    121
    Nov 6, 2008
    Thornton, NH
    Ok, i realize that this may be a really dumb question, but I have to ask to make sure I am doing the right thing for my girls. I understand that chickens do not have teeth and that when outside they pick up pieces of grit, dirt, rock, etc and that this goes to their crop, then food goes to their crop and gets ground up with all the "Stuff" in their.

    So I guess my question is.......if my girls are in their coop pretty much all winter and the ground is covered with over a foot of snow from Dec.-Mar. do I need to put grit, rocks in their coop? Sorry if this is stupid, I am just unsure how often they need to do this. [​IMG] Any info would be helpful.

    Thank you.[​IMG]
     
  2. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    5,644
    371
    303
    Jan 14, 2008
    You have really answered your own question if you stop & think about it. Yes, chichens need grit to help their digestive process. If they are not able to find it on their own you need to provide it for them. Since ideally they would be able to add grit as needed the best way to approach the problem is to make it available to them all the time.
     
  3. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    My flock has free access to a nice run but I provide grit year round anyway. It's cheap and this way I know they're getting the right kind of rock. But that's just me. [​IMG]

    If you go to a feed store be aware that they may try to sell you oyster shell, they may even call it grit and say that it does the same thing. It's strange how many feed store people believe that.

    Oyster shell provides extra calcium for active layers. Grit helps grind the food in the gizzard. Totally different process.
     
  4. I asked for oyster shell since the shells on my eggs are sorta soft, and they sold me hardshell, said it was asgood as oyster shell, since the girls have amost stopped laying don't know, but they have layer pellets, hardshell and treats so guess they are doing fine, Oh yes they free range most of the afternoon. marrie
     
  5. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    104
    4
    121
    Nov 6, 2008
    Thornton, NH
    Quote:Yes, I suppose you are right! I went and got some sand today and places it in a container in their coop along with oyster shells so they can have access to it when they feel like it. Do you think this will work?
     
  6. HenniePennie

    HenniePennie Out Of The Brooder

    74
    1
    29
    Jul 16, 2007
    Oregon
    I do not purchase 'grit' instead I purchase a 25lb bag of garden sand and have it in a seperate bowl in the girls/hens house. It is small enough for the babies and works good for the big girls. It is cheaper than grit and just as good. Grit comes in different sizes to accomidate the different sizes of chickens. I also purchase oyster shell by the big bag & always have a bowl of it for them to eat as much as they need.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Barn Maid Ann

    Barn Maid Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    1
    138
    Oct 28, 2008
    Punta Gorda, FL
    Is sand big enough? An does it have enough, uhh, umph! to do the job?
    I only ever bought grit for the baby chicks. Once grown they have free ranged, and we have tons of various sized rocks and pebbles and gravel around the barnyard. But we just now got near a foot of snow and who knows when they will see the ground again. I guess I will have to buy some grit for them while they are indoor chickens. We actually had so little snow last winter, this was not an issue!
     
  8. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    5,644
    371
    303
    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:Yes, I suppose you are right! I went and got some sand today and places it in a container in their coop along with oyster shells so they can have access to it when they feel like it. Do you think this will work?

    I don't think sand will work as a "Grit", not large or hard enough. Most feed store's carry Grit which is finely crushed rock of some sort-usyally Granite. Pet stores also have it for caged birds,
     
  9. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    104
    4
    121
    Nov 6, 2008
    Thornton, NH
    Quote:I know how much snow you are getting as we are north of you in NH and we got 8 inches yesterday and are supposed to get 10-18 today! My chickens will not go out. I purchased multi purpose sand at our local Agway and this is good because it is not fine sand like in a sand box. It has lots of variety in size and small pebbles. They seemed very happy to have it in their. Just a thought!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by