The Science Of Feeding Grit To Poultry

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 3riverschick, May 27, 2014.

  1. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi,
    See page 2 of the PDF in that post #4. It has feeding instruction on what size to use for what age.
    According to the research an adult chicken will need about 1/3 lb. of grit a month. It's nothing on me if ya'll don't want to feed granite grit to your birds. I am just saying there is a science to feeding grit. There is a proven way to feed grit for best effect.
    Honed thru decades of feeding millions of birds. What does grit do for the bird?
    1. Exercises the gizzard so it is healthier and ,most important, grows to a larger and more productive size.
    2. Does not really affect the size of the bird. Not needed for broilers unless one is feeding them coarse grain with their mash in the finishing stage.
    2. When fed with coarse grains and mash to broilers during the finishing stage, it helps the broiler put on more weight.
    3. Helps keep the G.I tract clean so less chance of harmful pathogens settling there.

    The feeding of granite grit didn't come about by accident or by the greed of a company seeking profit. In the 1030's, large poultry farmers came to realize that the right grit at the right age made enough difference in the final weight of their market birds to make it feasible over the feeding of whatever convenient grit the birds picked up in their lodging/ranging. It was the poultry farmers who approached the poultry industry and went looking for a better grit. After some studies, the granite industry proved to be the best source with the best results from their product. It was the farmers looking for more profit that instigated the poultry granite industry. The histories are on the Net for reading.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  2. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    two 50 lb bags of grit don't quiet fill a 5 gallon bucket, that's enough for 2 1/2 ton of feed, i'm sorry i don't see that as excessive or wasteful.

    just for comparison, how much grit do your chickens consume free choice over the course of the same poundage of feed?
     
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  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Free choice my birds got through about 75-100lbs of insoluble grit a year for about 100 birds in a mixed flock of bantam and standard chickens, peafowl and guinea fowl they are on a heavily supplemented diet of fresh foods daily so there is no comparison to a dry feed only diet.. Dry feed is only offered as a staple not as a sole ration for my birds and they can consume anywhere from 50-150lbs of feed on the side per week depending on how much other stuff they have to eat...

    This is a typical daily (today's actually) supplement offering for my birds to give you an idea of how much over and above the dry feed they eat...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  4. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that 50-150 averages out to 100 lbs a week, times 52 weeks in a year, for 5200 lbs, so 2.6 ton to the 100 lbs of grit..........isn't that about exactly what 1 lb in 50 equates out to?
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Maybe you missed (or conveniently ignored) the rest of my post where they get 100s upon 100s of pounds of other food each week in addition to that 50-150lbs of dry feed they eat on the side? Do you think my style feeding regiment is common among other flock owners to compare it as apples to apples, instead of apples to oranges?

    So no it's not a 1:50 ratio as you suggest, because if I was feeding them only dry feed my weekly feed would probably be more like 300lbs or more a week... As it is they probably get closer to 500+lbs of food a week combined dry and fresh...
     
  6. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, i read that part of your post too, if you weren't feeding that you wouldn't need to feed grit and as i pointed out if you mixed your grit 1lb in 50 lbs of feed they'd get the exact same amount of grit that they do by free choice that you said was excessive.
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    What if I was feeding less fresh? Say 5%, 10%, 20% fresh instead of 80%?

    So when you are suggesting your 1:50 ratio mixed into the feed it is only for people like me who feed about 20% dry feed or a 1 part dry feed to 5 parts fresh food by weight? Because if I feed them any other ratio of dry to fresh with more dry feed it would result in excess and waste, right?

    What about those that feed the traditional 10% fresh treats, that comes to about a 90% dry feed ratio? Wouldn't your 1:50 ratio be an excess waste to them, as it would provide about 4.5 times as much grit as my 20% dry feed ratio provides my birds?

    What if I cut back on my fresh food and they started to consume more dry food? Wouldn't there then be waste of grit, as they were already getting enough grit with 20% dry feed consumption, thus if they were to all the sudden be eating 40% dry feed then they would be wasting 50% of the grit they are now forced to eat?

    Sorry but you can insist all day your 1:50 is some one size fits all but it simply isn't, as it doesn't take into account their diet or feed type or specific needs and it can easily result it waste...

    Maybe you should go back and edit your post and make it clear that your 1:50 ratio of grit/feed is for people that feed about 80% fresh foods, and only 20% dry feed, and that hte 1:50 ratio is only applicable to the 20% dry feed feed, not the 80% fresh feed, for clarification...

    Personally, I'll let the chickens figure it out how much they need, they are quite wise in that respect, as there is no reason for me to force feed some arbitrary or random amount of grit to them and create waste or a shortage when they are fully capable of regulating it themselves if given the option...
     
  8. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it's funny how it was excessive in your opinion and a waste yet it was exactly the same ratio you yourself fed but you still want to argue just for the sake of arguing, i'll bow out of this conversation but will continue to feed grit as needed along with my feed.
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    You cherry pick one example average it out over a year and then proclaim you were right while ignoring the 1001 other possibilities, that is fallacious... It's you that can't admit you are wrong and that 1:50 only works on cherry picked examples of your choosing, thus the reason you avoided all my examples above that show your 1:50 rule doesn't work well if at all, how convenient you avoid the multiples examples that show you wrong and stand on your single cherry picked example that is wrong as well...

    FACT is, I would waste grit and/or I would not be giving enough grit at times if I mixed it 1:50 with my dry feed, as you suggest... You simply can't average out my feed to 100lbs a week and proclaim from your cherry picked example you are correct, that is false dichotomy... Truth be told I never said I fed 100lbs of feed a week or 5200lbs of feed a year that was you averaging the numbers to cherry pick an example... Instead I stated that I feed anywhere from 50-150lbs a week or 2600lbs to 7800lbs a year... Using your 1:50 ratio would result in me potentially shorting the birds about 23-48lbs of grit a year or I might be giving and excess of 56-81lbs of potential waste a year, it's fully dependent on how much dry food I offer and they eat and that amount is simply not static and that is why I posted such a huge range of fee, it's not static, it's not 100lbs a week.. Instead their dry feed consumption varies by the season and even by the day or week, by my mood or by the birds mood at any given time... Heck I don't even know if all my birds eat the dry food that is offered, since they have an alternative, it very well could only be a few birds choosing to eat it and thus it would be wrong to assume those that need the grit were even getting it if it was mixed in the feed... During the summer months they generally only eat about 50lbs a week, fresh food is plentiful, during the winter it varies from 100-150lbs generally, but even sometimes down to the 50lbs like right now they are hardly eating any dry food... There are other times I just get lazy and put them on a full dry ration like during vacations or illness, their dry feed is not a static number so using your cherry picked 100lbs a week induces errors and false calculations... Also when you are talking about a consumable like grit working with averages over a year simply don't work well, they need a steady supply of the proper amount of grit daily over the course of the year, not a supply that varies... Combine that with the simple fact that when they need the grit most when getting higher concentrations of fresh foods your ratio of grit in the dry feed falls flat on it's face by offering them less grit at that time, it's counter productive and backwards...

    Plus we also have the fact that there are two types of grit, insoluble and soluble, both offered free choice and separate to my flock, my male birds (and young birds) don't need the soluble grit in any quantity and mixing it into their feed would actually be harmful to them, but the laying hens need it in quantity... How do your propose I control the differing male vs female intake levels if mixed into the communal feed and forced upon them at the same level? This is the same reason I don't use layer feed that forces the calcium intake, it's simply not healthy to do so for a mixed flock...

    In the end it's simply not a one size fits all, that is a cold hard truth...
     
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016

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