Why spend $ for grit when I have sand?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jmc, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Do you buy grit or do you use sand?

    Some chicken keepers have suggested just giving sand to mature birds. Grit is just another thing to spend $ on. The sand around here has little stones in it and I give it to my 13 wk. olds and they SEEM to be okay. They do foraging and I give them bits of fruit, oatmeal, and various greens by hand...........

    Is insoluble grit that necessary, or can't they get what they need from the dirt they dig, the sand I give, etc.

    I'd get grit if it was a clear 'DO IT'; but I don't think it's that clearly necessary. Of course, "the books" say, 'Give real grit', but...........they're supposed to toe the line if publicly publishing!!!

    I must admit that real grit (12.00 for 50 lbs. here in MA) would probably be the ideal thing for good digestion, and probably nutrient uptake, as a result. But would the 'ordinary foraging chicken' get on her own what we call 'insoluble grit'? I kinda doubt it.

    What do you all do?

  2. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Coarse sand had better suffice because I just put 7 1/2 tons of it in their run, and I ain't givin' 'em nuthin else!
  3. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have never in my life bought grit for chickens and as far as I know my parents haven't either. I would assume that they find thier own if they are on the on the ground...I imagine that if you have them caged off the ground you may have to give them some sand or whatever since they dont have means to find their own. I recently butchered a turkey and it hall all sorts of tiny rocks in her gizzard that she had eaten for grit.
  4. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Wow 12 bucks for grit? I pay 5 bucks for a 50 pound bag, and I buy maybe one bag a year.

    They do get stones and such from the ground, so I don't throw out grit all the time - maybe a few handfuls every month or so, just in case they need some bigger grit pieces than they can get off the ground.

    I plan to put sand in the chicken run, too - for help with rain issues and for a cleaner smell (I hope) when it rains. And also for dust baths, and grit. I'll probably keep buying the one bag a year, but I can get it cheap, so it isn't any big deal, really.

    If I had to pay 12 bucks for rocks, I'd be looking around for a better price, LOL. My feed stores (both of the ones in town) showed me their order list (the wholesale price) and it is about 4.50 a bag for THEM, they don't mark it up that much, because this is farm country, and a lot of the farmers with chickens don't bother with grit.

    I did see it higher priced at TSC, but I've learned not to buy anything at TSC that I can get at the local feed store.

    Peace -

  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    As long as they have access to dirt and small pebbles you do not need to buy extra grit.
  6. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Thank you all, folks!

    I'm gonna keep on doing what I'm doing. Yes, our babies are always on the ground, so they get plenty of 'dirty deeds' done in a day.[​IMG]

    Jenlyn, Greetings way down there; I see you have SS Hamburgs. I read in the Murray McMurray catalog that they lay medium sized eggs so well, they used to be called in Europe the 'Belgian once-a-day layer' !

    Have yours started laying? If so, do they seem to be good layers (I don't expect them to be 'once-a-day layers, tho!)?

    Also, are they, like, hyper hyper sort of wild? I would love to add some of those someday to our flock, but answers to these questions from one who has them might help out.....

  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, I don't go out buying grit with a few dump truck loads lining the drive way and turn around areas here. They can pick it up on their own. It's usually the cooped/caged/grass run/sifted topsoil reared birds who should have some grit added to their diet.

  8. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    I just scooped some out of my horse arena which I orginally got for $25 a dump truck load from the quarry. It's slightly finer with fewer pebbles than the playsand they sell in stores.
  9. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    We have a gravel driveway, so I figure they get all they need from there.

  10. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I have a question about gravel/stones....

    Do the chickens poop them out later? Seems like they could eat the same ones over and over. [​IMG]

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