The Science Of Feeding Grit To Poultry

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

  1. Double L

    Double L Hatching

    May 3, 2016
    Is there any where to order grain-i-grit? Or do you have to go pick it up there?
  2. 0wen

    0wen Songster

    Mar 25, 2016
    Southwest Virginia
    I live about a half hour from the town it's made in so a lot of feed and general stores here carry it but that may be because of proximity. Check at Southern States if you have one in your city and see if they can get it in if they don't carry it normally.
  3. twinsmom6

    twinsmom6 Chirping

    May 10, 2016
    Southern Arizona
    no just mildy warm water to rinse his little vent that was a little clogged. It can be life threatening for those little guys. He did so well and he just looked cute. I did not use any soap.. and kept him warm and let him dry off under the heat lamp. His expression was just too cute not to share. They don't need baths they do their own dirt dustings :) in Arizona it is pretty dry so we put up a little mister system they do play in it.. :)
  4. Tika75

    Tika75 Chirping

    Apr 4, 2016

    If you are near an Atwoods they have chick grit.
  5. Rockvillian

    Rockvillian In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2016
    Rockville, Virginia
    Builders sand is not grit. Crushed granite is what you need. Also, chickens don't need to eat dirt. Chicks won't need grit if their consists only of starter feed. It can't hurt, though.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    The soil or sod from your yard will give them some grit (unless your soil is very sandy and does not have larger particles in it) as well as some minerals, some little insects and seeds, plenty of opportunity to practice scratching up their own grub, some greens, some bacteria and fungus to help jump start their gut flora as well as help them build their immunity, and their first dust bath.

    Please don't bathe your chicks. Their skin and feathers are not designed for bathing. If they have pasty butt, you can gently clean the back end with a gentle stream of water over that area, but there is no need to bathe the whole chick!

    Oyster shell is not grit. Oyster shell is designed to give calcium to laying birds. Grit is insoluble rock, of a size that is easy for the bird to swallow. It is then held in the gizzard to help with processing the food. While common "they say" jargon is that it is not necessary if you give your birds processed food, there are studies that indicate that birds who have access to correctly sized grit have better digestion, and better feed utilization and better gizzard development than birds that don't have that opportunity. Give your birds access to soil and gravel from your yard (unless you live in a very sandy area) and they will find what they need.

    Lisa, you're going to have fun with your birds. Have you had an opportunity to read any of the many articles in the learning center? They'll help you to find answers to lots of questions you didn't even know you had.
    1 person likes this.
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    This thread is titled the science of feeding grit. Yes, there is a definite science to it if one chooses to go that way. It is up to the individual, smile. The practice of feeding manufactured standardized sizes of granite grit to poultry began back in the 1930's. Large poultry farmers were wanting to increase their egg yield. The country had been steadily moving from an agrarian society to an urban society for decades, Drawn to cities by the opportunities of the Industrial Revolution and the more convenient ways of living there. The population was expanding. With the invention of sliced bread in the 1920's and the availability of canned food, people were eating better and growing bigger and taller. Remember how short your gramdmother was? That was normal back then. Now people are much taller. A fact partially attributable to the food innovations and availability which occurred about the time sliced bread was invented. All this meant the country needed more eggs. Transportation of eggs to market had become much easier and the egg market for one farmer or co-op had grown to a larger geographic area.
    What to do? What if the farmers could get 10 to 20% more eggs from a hen? Hogan and Steup were teaching farmers how to breed for laying virtues. What else could be a factor? Egg famers started noticing that hens who had access to standard grit laid some more eggs. They started studies on the subject , on what kind of grit and schedule offered the best returns. They came to see that a schedule of standardized insoluable stone with sharp edges, ...fed on a certain schedule while the birds were growing and up to laying age... created a healthier G. I. tract and a larger, healthier gizzard. That the better gizzards helped the females grind their feed better. Because of this,more nutrition was uptaken from the feed in the G.I. tract and the birds laid up to 20% more eggs. Now that might not seem like much but when one has 50,000 layers and each lays even 2 more eggs than usual, that's quite a bump to the profit margin.
    So the growers started clamoring for standardized insoluable grit. In 1935, North Carolina Granite responded with their Gran-I-Grit. They eventualy made several sizes with a schedule of which size to feed at which age to attain more eggs per bird. Up to 20% more eggs per bird. From what I have read, the results of feeding grit scientifically are internal. One does not see huge results on the outside of the bird, but at production time, at point of lay, the female is proven more productive than the female raised without the scientific grit schedule.
    So basically, when we are feeding grit scientifically,we are planning for the future.
    Best Regards,
    And the boys? The broilers? Basically their lifespan is so short, they don't need grit in their feed. Except... when they are fed coarse grain with their finishing ration during the finishing stage before processing. Broilers fed grit during the finishing stage when they had coarse grain added to the finishing diet put on enough extra weight to make the feeding of the grit economically feasible.
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I have never bought commercial grit. My chickens have access to natural sources for grit. I have also been feeding fermented feed for several years now, and I have noticed hens who were laying only a few eggs each season are now laying regularly all season long. Also, my geriatric crew are laying pretty regularly.

    So, I would imagine fermented feed makes the issue of feeding standardized commercial grit moot. That's my conclusion. What do you think?
  9. Lisa Wood

    Lisa Wood Songster

    Mar 6, 2016
    AIKEN, South Carolina
    Thankyou for all the chicken wisdom here on this site! Without you guys, I could be making big mistakes, and if I made any of our chicks ill or worse, I would be upset, as they are named, like pets on the head, and sometimes come when called. They are so entertaining!
    So my husband and I went to three stores after church, no one had chick grit, so we bought big bird grit and mashed up fine with a hammer, till I can get the right stuff. They are using it.

    I have been on the learning center, and have tried to follow instructions. I think the main problemo was the guy at our local feed store sold my husband oyster shell when he asked for grit. I was not there, so THAT was a mistake I won't make again! But now we are collecting more chicken stuff for when they are adults.
    Sometimes, as I found when I bought my Macaw, I have researched one topic and had totally opposite ideas introduced. But I think we are on track now, and my husband and I are kind of wishing they stay little girls so they stay in the house for easy access!
    But then we get them also to get us outside enjoying fresh air and moving around.
    Thank You All Again,
  10. Rockvillian

    Rockvillian In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2016
    Rockville, Virginia

    Do you have a coop yet?
    Last edited: May 30, 2016

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