Using grit

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lovin my girls, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. lovin my girls

    lovin my girls Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2009

    When you all give your chickens bird seed, cracked corn and/or sunflower seeds do you all throw out some grit in the chicken run also?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If I have mine in a brooder, they get sand and dirt from the run on their second or third day. Not a tremendous amount but a small amount in a separate cup. I think this helps gets their digestive system working the way it was intended so they are ready in case a hard shelled bug wanders in their brooder.

    If they are in the run and have contact with the ground, they probably don't need supplemental grit. They can probably get enough from the ground. Depends on your soil and if you have the floor of your run covered. If the run floor is covered, yes, they need grit to digest many things, including grains. They don't have teeth so they use the grit in their gizzard to grind up their food so it can be digested.

    Grown chickens can use practically any rocks as grit from the size of a big grain of sand to the size of a pea. Play sand does not work because it is so small and smooth it goes right through their system, but construction sand can work. The harder it is or the bigger the pieces, the longer it lasts. That's why the grit you buy is normally granite. It is real hard and is a by-product of granite quarrying so it is pretty cheap.

    Oyster shell does not work as grit. Partly because it is not real hard compared to some of the stuff they need to gring up, but mainly because their digestive system has acid in it, just like ours. The acid dissolves the oyster shell.
  3. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I supply grit on the side in a small container in the coop. It is never touched. I have also tried mixing it in the feed and they scratch it out of the feeders and ends up on the floor. They must pick up what they need free ranging. Have healthy chickens for 5 years now. Have butchered a few and their crops are full of all kinds of rocks. Just my experience.
  4. KimM

    KimM Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2011
    Mine get grit in a tuna can nailed to the side of the coop. I have to refill it once every week or two, so they must be using it. They aren't free ranging right now because of all the snow, so I don't know that they could get enough on their own. We throw scratch and sunflower seeds to them most afternoons, but I don't give them grit along with it.
  5. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    I'm tossing grit into the run or coop a few days out of the week now, because the ground is so snow covered and frozen, I'm not sure they can get enough on their own. Some days, it does just sit there. Other days, I see them picking at it. When the warmer weather comes back (if ever!), and the run is completely open and they can free range, I am sure they will not take nearly as much of the extra.
  6. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    If dirt is exposed in your run, then they are getting grit... If not, best to add some.
  7. amandarey20

    amandarey20 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2010
    When should they start getting grit. Mine will free range once old enough but what about while their in the brooder? Which is lifted off the ground.

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