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should I give my chickens grit mixed in their food?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Hens rule, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, just wondering should I mix grit into my chickens food or give it seperately? And how often should I give them grit?
     
  2. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Girt is only necessary if your hens are not allowed to free-range and are fed any kind of hard-coated seed or grain. Birds that free-range will naturally eat tiny stones, and confined birds that are eating a commercial pellet or crumble do not need grit because the ingredients in the feed were all in the ground form prior to being made into a crumble or pellet. Once that crumble/pellet hits the moisture in the crop, it will soften into its former mash condition. However, confined birds being fed scratch grains or bird seed as a treat will benefit from eating some grit. For your ease, you can just put some in a bowl or sprinkle it on the ground in their run and they will pick it up -- you needn't go to the extra effort to mix it into their feed. Grit is made from granite, so it will last a LONG time in their gizzard. You can feed it as seldom as once a month or every day if you wish; they will eat as needed.
     
  3. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I was wondering because in the winter my chickens have to stay inside but in the summer they free range.
     
  4. ShinShien

    ShinShien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do chickens instinctively know when they need grit? Seems like they would, but I've got a speckled Sussex who's gotten either sour (i think) or impacted crop. They have grit strewn all over the ground, and I fed them 5-way then 3-way scratch all winter. Also, there's long-stemmed hay all over the place. We have horses. Did she gorge on scratch and long pieces of hay?
     
  5. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most people would rather an expert answer them but i will tell you what i think [​IMG] Maybe, one of my hens has before. She had eaten straw. But i think hay can do that to. Im not shure but i dont think scratch can cause that. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  6. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She may have. Even under ideal management, most flocks/herds have at least one individual who manages to get into trouble. Too much hard material like scratch and/or too much fibrous material like hay can certainly cause a crop impaction. Grit resides in the gizzard, which is further down the line from the crop, so in this case, eating or not eating sufficient grit is not the issue. It would probably benefit this bird to feed a crumble or pellet and allow very minimal access to extraneous materials like scratch or hay. Always be sure that she has plenty of fresh water to drink, so that she can keep the crop material moist.
     
  7. ShinShien

    ShinShien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then she got it some other way, but she has sour crop. Her crop's the size and consistency of an overfilled water balloon, and her breath smells like my fermenting vat did back in the summer. She's also doing the head-shaking, gagging motions to get whatever's in there out. Guess this post actually belongs in the diseases, cures forum.
     
  8. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did not know scratch could cause an impaction. Showed I stop feeding scratch to my chickens?
     
  9. ShinShien

    ShinShien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's in a cage right now with nothing but water. Nothing's going out the other end. She was packing more food on top of the rotting food in her crop. Now I'm waiting to hear back from my vet. They don't do chickens as a rule, but one of them knows about chickens.
     
  10. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To help get the food out of her crop massage her crop and give her yogurt to kill the bacteria in her crop.
     

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