Whats up with grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wohneli, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. wohneli

    wohneli Chillin' With My Peeps

    444
    1
    129
    Oct 6, 2008
    Gainesville
    I have never given my chickens store-bought grit. We live in Florida so I assume that they eat a bunch of sand while they are free-ranging. Is this enough? They seem to be fine (15 weeks old) and are growing fine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Chickens will pick up small rocks/pebbles etc while they free range. If they are eating other things besides processed feed they need the grit for digestion. By grit I mean rocks and such. I have free rangers but I offer it any way. It's not super expensive and it also has minerals and calcium in the version I buy so I figure I'm covering all the bases. My theory is better safe than sorry. They will eat it if they need it.

    I wonder if sand would lead to impaction? Does anyone know?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  3. Spires6

    Spires6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    0
    129
    Mar 10, 2009
    Ohio
    Mine free range and I also offer grit with calcium.
     
  4. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    339
    1
    141
    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    I give oyster shells for calcium and grit [​IMG]
     
  5. wohneli

    wohneli Chillin' With My Peeps

    444
    1
    129
    Oct 6, 2008
    Gainesville
    I will give them crushed oyster shells at about 20 weeks. I read a thread that said to much early in life could lead to kidney stones. I guess the Feed and Seed would have grit by the pound?
     
  6. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    528
    3
    141
    Nov 20, 2008
    Astatula Florida
    I live in Florida and don't give mine grit.
     
  7. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    575
    6
    141
    Sep 7, 2008
    If you feed a lot of really hard, dry seeds (dry shelled corn, millet, or any other very hard shelled grains), you should let them have access to grit. If you feed mash, crumbles, or pellets, the seed coats are already cracked, and the grit is not necessary. The grit settles in the gizzard, and it is there that the grit, combined with the muscular gizzard will grind up these hard seeds.

    If you free range, grit usually is not necessary, even if you feed lots of hard seeds.
     
  8. jo-me

    jo-me Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Nov 13, 2008
    I started to free range my chickens and I thought I would not need to give them any added grit. Then I had 2 chickens that got impact gizzard and died. Than I read in one of the thread that you had to cut open the gizzard to remove some of feed. Well when my third chicken was dying of impact gizzard. I decide to preform the surgery. Well I didn't but my husband did he said this was crazy. So he pulled a few feathers off and made a small openning on her gizzard and sure enough she had 3 pieces of straw crossways and as soon as he removed them the gizzard empty out. We did nothing else. He was sure she would die. So I put her in seperate pen and the next morning she joinned the rest of the chickens, she was up and running with the rest of them. If she had any pain she never even showed any sign she didn't even move when my husband made the small cut, guess becase she was so sick. So I suggest to everyone to give git to all your chickens even if they free range.
     
  9. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    55
    216
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Mine are outside all day and I have never given them grit and they are just fine. There are plenty of pebbles and such things in the soil here so they find their own.
     
  10. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    575
    6
    141
    Sep 7, 2008
    I highly doubt that you actually made a cut into the gizzard. First of all, the gizzard is very muscular, and a bit of straw wouldn't even bother a bird at all. It's possible that you are referring to the crop, which can become impacted from straw.

    The gizzard is located in the back of the chicken below the vent, inside the body cavity. The crop is in the front of the chicken, just below the neck, and ahead of the breastbone. If you actually were to cut into a gizzard, you would have had to enter the peritoneal cavity, and then cut into the gizzard. Then, you would have had to sew the gizzard shut, and treat with antibiotics for a long while, or the juices from the gizzard would have caused perotinitis. A lethal condition.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by