Poultry: How do you feed grit

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How do you feed grit to your chickens? I've been throwing it out in the run and letting them peck for it. Is that OK? OR is the calcium leeching out in the rain?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), September 10, 2001


Ann, that is exactly what I do. My understanding is that the grit is supposed to help them grind up their food, not for calcium.

-- ugly (here@home.com), September 10, 2001.

I think you're thinking of oyster shell, which is fed to chickens as a calcium supplement. We always had a wooden hopper that had two compartments, one for grit, one for oyster shell. You pour it in at the top and there's an open place at the bottom where the birds can help themselves. I don't know that rain would hurt either grit or oyster shell but this way you don't have to worry about it on a daily basis- just fill it up and depending on the size of it and number of chickens using it, it could last for months. If you're not currently feeding oyster shell you should be able to get it at your feed store, or wherever you buy your grit.

-- Sarah K. (ladynuala@hotmail.com), September 10, 2001.

Doesn't plain old dirt work for grit?

-- Bear (BarelyKnow@aol.com), September 10, 2001.

Duh! I know the difference between grit and oystershell--just lost my mind for a minute. Bear with me.

I meant oystershell--I have enough pebbles for grit but where do you put your oystershell? Any reason why that shouldn't go outside?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), September 10, 2001.

Another opinion! I've never fed grit. Chick Starter is already broken down, so there's no need for grit. When the birds start free ranging, there's no need for grit. They pick up sand, stones, whatever. Only if the older birds are kept cooped up do they need grit.

I mix oyster shell and food grade Diatomaceous Earth into the feed when the birds are about 3 months. The oyster shell's calcium makes for stronger egg shells and good bone growth of the birds.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), September 10, 2001.

Not sure if the calcium leeches out in the rain. i provide my oyster shell in a dish since it's not something they snatch right up like scratch or corn. just don't want it sitting on the ground amongst the litter.

I also save all my egg shells. when i get a bowl full, i crush them up and dump in the oyster shell dish.


-- Buk Buk (bukabuk@hotmail.com), September 10, 2001.

I mix my oyster shell and food together.


-- (ldleonard@pennswoods.net), September 13, 2001.

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