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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stewarts, Mar 21, 2013.
Can washed and crushed egg shells be used for calcium and grit?
Works well for calcium but not for grit.
Calcium sources like egg and oyster shell dissolve in the first stomach and gizzard.
Grit (granite or other stones) takes an extremely long time to dissolve and stay in the gizzard until they do aiding in breaking up seeds and other hard things.
Bake the egg shells also to change the taste. You don't want them to start eating the shells when they start laying. Best to stay away from the egg shells in my opinion.You didn't mention the age of yours, chicks don't need extra calcium in their diet.Chicken Canoe is right on the grit. Just buy the grit a feed store. It's not expensive.
I hard boil eggs once a week put them in the food processor (shells and all) and feed them back to the chickens. Keeps them laying really well in the winter. I didn't do it one week and their laying declined drastically. We feed ours layer ration and do not have to give them grit. I have heard that the chickens will eat the grit over feed since it is like candy to them so you really have to monitor how much you give them.
The chick starter is all new chicks need. No need for extra calcium or to give them grit. Once young birds go outside and you give them treats and table scraps you should give them grit if they don't have dirt under them to get their own.
The thing about grit is it aids in digestion but it not essential. What happens if chickens don't obtain enough grit is they don't break down the harder parts of food intake so simply eat more food to compensate. Grit should not be more expensive than your added food cost without it. It defeats the purpose. What I'm getting at here is it doesn't need to be granite and certainly don't purchase those small granite bags. Grit (crushed granite) can be purchased in bulk, by the pound, from your local feed supplier. It's incredibly cheap that way. And if chickens are scratching up a storm in the dirt I assume they are finding their own small stones like nature intended. But then again, by nature's plan they'd be eating hard berries and nuts and seeds for nutrition and that's why they'd need small stones to grind it up in their gizzard.