sand eating tukeys

swamperkk

Songster
5 Years
May 8, 2014
315
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119
i have a bucket of sand and the turkeys love it for grit,so i read that oyster shells would be good for them,so i bought a bag,well the oyster shells are still in the bucket,and the sand is still getting ate,anybody use this oyster shell as grit?
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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i have a bucket of sand and the turkeys love it for grit,so i read that oyster shells would be good for them,so i bought a bag,well the oyster shells are still in the bucket,and the sand is still getting ate,anybody use this oyster shell as grit?

Oyster shell is not a substitute for grit. Most hens will take oyster shell by choice during the laying season to keep up their calcium in their bodies.

All birds need grit in order to grind their food small enough for the body to be able to digest and absorb the nutrients.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
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Oregon
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i have a bucket of sand and the turkeys love it for grit,so i read that oyster shells would be good for them,so i bought a bag,well the oyster shells are still in the bucket,and the sand is still getting ate,anybody use this oyster shell as grit?

Oyster shell and grit are two different things - and are used differently by the bird's body/provided to flocks for two very different reasons. The reason the oyster shell is still in the bucket is that the amount of oyster shell required/taken in by any given female bird is fairly small (such that the intake often goes unnoticed for weeks until enough of a dent is made in the supply as to be seen). Only actively laying females will take in oyster shell and they do so to meet the needs of their body for calcium in the production, shelling and expelling of eggs. It is not a functional grit due to being highly soluble and not being able to hold up as a grinding agent to be used by the gizzard.

Grit is used by all birds (both genders, actively laying or not) to aid the gizzard in the breaking up and digestion of food. Insoluble/less soluble material is desirable as grit as it is longer lasting and better able to aid the gizzard. It is also taken in in better quantity (overall) than would be oyster shell for calcium. Many flocks are in an environment where sufficient natural grit is available for picking up as the birds range, scratch and peck - but I prefer to error on the side of caution and provide a little extra just in case, especially given how cheap and readily available it is. I, personally, prefer larger grit than sand. From a practical point of view, sand is less effective due to size and overall lack of total surface area in comparison to larger stone grit - and sand is more easily swept along through the digestive tract and out the back end of your birds meaning that the need to take in new grit material will be greater and overall amount needed will be higher.
 

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