Using OYSTER SHELLS as GRIT?? Or more bad advice from feed store??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by arwmommy, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. arwmommy

    arwmommy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    Well, as the title says, the feed store(s) continue to challenge advice I have recieved from BYC!!!

    The newest is this:

    I go into feedstore asking for Oyster Shells and Grit. (The babies are now 18 weeks, and have only had sand from the sand box as grit, and whatever they get when they freerange for an hour or two a day).

    They say, "Here is the Oyster Shells.... what else was that you wanted?"

    me: "Grit--- like for chickens."

    Them: "Why?"

    Me: "Ummmm because they need grit to digest food...."

    Them: "But you are buying Oyster shells. Just use that. Everyone just uses that." Then gives me a "What is your problem NOW??" look.

    Them: "Where do you get all this advice?"

    Me: "From some chicken friends online"

    Them: "Ohhhhhhhh" (with eyeroll, like I am crazy)

    OK, not going back there again, but the other feed store is almost as bad! As for grit, they had "pigeon grit" that looked to be the right size, but clearly had Oyster Shells IN IT.

    Should I just get that?

    Should I just supply Oyster Shells as Grit?

    Should I not stress about it since they free range a bit?

    Or should I put out the small gravel (I got at the sand company after I left the feed store) as grit, and do Oyster Shells separately? (what I am doing now)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Quote:That's how I refer to BYC - my online chicken friends!
    Anyway, I've learned never to trust feed store people. Some of them know absolutely nothing. I'm lucky that the farm store that I use is connected to a working farm, so they actually DO know what they are talking about, but that is rare.
    If your babies are outside a couple of hours a day, they are probably picking up enough grit. However, I do keep a bag of grani-grit available to add in the winter when they aren't outside.
  3. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    I have free choice of both granite grit and oyster shells. They pick at the grit once in a while. The oyster shell I have to refill once a week. I was told chickens know what and when they need it. [​IMG]
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If they are free raining, don't worry bout that grit.
  5. jessied1227

    jessied1227 Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    East Brady, PA
    I free range my girls and provide no grit. I see them in the sand pile every three or four days, and they like to pick the gravel and sand in the driveway.

    I think if they are out free ranging, they'll get what they need from the land.

  6. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    I give mine choice on both and they are going through the oyster shell a whole lot quicker than the grit, but it is there if they want it.
  7. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Oyster shells are for the calcium for when they start laying eggs. Grit is for the crop to aid in digestion. I have a bowl of each inside each coop for them to eat at will. They free range too so they get plenty of what they need.
  8. Chellester

    Chellester Songster

    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    I don't use grit because my chickens have access to the ground and we have very sandy soil here.

    arwmommy, it continues to amaze me how completely clueless feed store and other retail store employees are about the products they are hired to sell. Even if it's just a job and they're not into what they're selling, at least learn something about it to make the workday go by smoother. That feed store employee should have taken the exchange with you as an oppurtunity to learn something instead of acting like a jerk.
  9. karmical

    karmical Songster

    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    I had a guy at a feed store try to convince me that it would be OK for my 8 week old chicks to start on LAYER pellets and just skip over the grower crumbles (since they didn't have any in stock to sell me of course). Luckily I'd done enough research for my gut to tell me not to listen to him....I went to another feed store.

    PS - A friend of mine who's raised chickens in the past has tried to tell me that you only need to supply grit once and then it stays in their crop forever and they don't need more. I'm thinking that HAS to be wrong. Doesn't even the grit eventually get broken down and passed through their systems?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  10. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    Grit is not a one time thing, think of it like sand paper, it grinds the food smooth to pass through ckicken, but wears itself down in the process also, that is why you have to get new sandpaper, and the chicken has to get new grit.

    PS - A friend of mine who's raised chickens in the past ......... that is why he raised them in the past he didnt get them new grit and they died.

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