Do chickens need grit? At what age do chickens need grit? What type of grit is good for chickens? There is a lot of confusion about feeding grit to chickens.
When I’ve researched this, I found some think that it is not essential for chickens, while others regularly feed grit to their bird pet. They find it important to boost the digestion of their feathered friend. If you have any doubts regarding grit such as how and when to feed it, you can go through the following article.
I will try to answer all your queries. Before going into more detail, first, we will know what grit is.
You should introduce chicken grits when the chicks start eating other foods in addition to the crumbles. This I typically from 8-12 weeks of age. You should not feed grits if the chicks solely rely on the crumbles.
When they are more than eight weeks, you can consider feeding regular chicken grits.
Grit is important to boost the digestive function of your chicken. If your chickens mostly rely on commercial food, you might not need the grit to ensure smooth digestion. Commercial foods will be easy on their digestive system. However, when your chicken will start eating other types of food, you will have to consider feeding them grit. Grit will break down the food to ensure easy absorption. It is important for all those birds who consume large particle-sided food. Your chicken comes in that category.
You do not need to feed grit to checks especially when they are only eating crumbles. When your chicks will eat any food other than crumbles, they might need grit for easy digestion. Up to eight weeks, you will have to feed chick grit only. These are available and easily accessible as well.
Is grit important for chickens?
Grit is important for chickens. The objective of feeding grit is to boost the digestive system of chickens. It will break down the food to make digestion easy and fast. Grit will grind down the food and that will boost the functioning of the digestive system.
Some grits are also considered good to give a boost to the calcium level of chickens. With more calcium, your chickens will have more eggshell strength as well as bone strength.
When your chickens are allowed to move in a free-range, they might not need extra grit. They will get enough grit from their food. However, many things will depend on their roaming area.
If space is restricted and they do not have access to any food, then consider adding grit to their diet. In brief, you can say that all the chickens need grit for easy digestion. Otherwise, they might develop digestive problems. Similarly, if you feed them more grit, it will offer an adverse result.
So, it is important to know the trick. You should know when and how to feed grits to your chickens.
How do you use chicken grit?
Different types of grits are available in the current market. These are made of flint or granite and oyster shell. These are chipped into smaller sizes so that you can easily feed them to your chickens.
As the options will be many, it is important to go through the instructions for each to know how to feed them. Instead of feeding too much or not enough, it is better to follow the right amount.
Remember that if you will feed less than required, it will not serve the purpose. The same applies to feeding more than the desired amount.
Some people think that their birds do not need grits since they are free-ranging. However, you will have to consider the free-ranging area before making a decision.
Grit is a must for a bird to boost its digestive system. If they are confined, they will not be able to get sufficient grit. That is going to affect their digestion in the long run.
When should you feed grit to your chickens?
Age will have the determining role for sure. Chicks will not need grit. So, you should always avoid feeding grit to your chicks. However, when your chicks will be eating other foods in addition to the crumbles, then only, you can introduce grits.
Again, you should not give them grits made for chickens. You will find some grits specifically made for chicks.
You will have to follow some basics. You should not feed grits if they rely on the crumbles. When they eat other foods, consider buying chick grit. If they are below eight weeks, offer them chick grits. When they are more than eight weeks, you can consider feeding regular chicken grits.
If they are free-ranging and you feel that they are eating the required amount of the grit, then you do not need to feed them grit anymore. You will have to understand a few factors to know when and how much grit is required to boost the functioning of the digestive system of your little pet.
Do you mix grit in with chicken food?
As stated earlier, you will find many options in the chicken grit. All of them come with some specific usage instructions. But yes, many of them can be mixed with your chicken food.
You can simply add a handful of the chicken grit to their regular food. Some pet owners also prefer to serve the grit separately. If it is possible, you can also try this option. The main objective is to feed them the required amount of grit. You can choose any of your preferred ways to feed them the grit.
You can simply sprinkle some grit on the food of your chicken just like you are adding salt to your food. As stated earlier, avoid feeding too much. Some breeds are known for being susceptible to impaction.
Also, most breeds love to eat grits. So, you will not have any difficulty feeding them as much as you want.
Can chickens eat too much grit?
Chickens can eat too much grit because they like grits. However, you will have to make them eat less. Excessive grit can affect the digestive health of your pet chickens. As we know, your feathered friend does not understand the nutritional value and cannot make healthy choices when it comes to eating.
If you are mixing the grit in their food, make sure that you are using the right amount. Even if you are keeping the grit separately in the coop, you should know the quantity.
Also, there will be different types of instruction about the quantity depending on the product. It is better to follow the instructions carefully. Have a look at the reviews of the customers to be aware of the side effects of each.
You never know some specific products might not be that effective for your bird pet. Get the one that is appreciated by many for your specific bird breed. Follow the quantity and do not feed more or less.
Does chick starter crumble have grit?
You might not find grits in your chick’s starter. Chicks do not need grit in most cases. If they are eating crumbles, you do not need to be worried about the grit and their digestion. Crumbles are easy to digest. The same is about the chick starters.
Commercially manufactured chick starters normally do not contain grit. These starters are super soft and can be absorbed easily without breaking down.
You can say that grits are like chicken teeth. As our teeth help us to break down the foods, grits serve the same purpose for chickens. But chicks’ foods are finely ground and they do not need any extra effort for breaking down.
However, if you are offering whole food to your chicks, then grit will be required. Needless to mention, whole and large-sized foods are not suggested for chicks. So, you should always avoid these types of food in the initial weeks of your chick’s life.
What is chicken grit made of?
As stated above, chicken grits are mainly made of either flint or granite and oyster shell grit. Grits are available in two different types. These are insoluble grit or soluble grit. The insoluble grit or flint grit helps to grind down the food for easy digestion.
This type of grit is classified as the layer, grower, chick, and turkey. Also, these are available in different sizes. It is suggested to go with slighter bigger ones that have too small grits.
Flint or insoluble grits are a bit more expensive than soluble grits. The soluble or oyster shell grit is affordable. These are made of oyster shells. They can also be limestone or cockle shells. As eggshells are mostly made of calcium, you can also grind eggshells and feed them to your chicken to strengthen their bones.
Oyster shell grits are a bit larger than insoluble grits. This type of grit can dissolve easily in the digestive system of your chicken. In addition to improved digestion, the oyster shell grits can meet the calcium needs of chickens. As a result, the bird pet owners can expect strong eggshells as well as strong bones. You can consider buying both these types of grits.
Know the exact amount and how to feed them to your chicken. It is important to know the nutritional value so that you can avoid overfeeding.
Can I use sand for chicken grit?
You can use sands for the chicken grit. Sands can be effective in a brooder. Sands can be used both for chicks and chickens. Sands do not cause binding. But sands should be avoided for the tiny chicks as it can cause impaction.
You will have to wait for a couple of days to use sand after hatching.
Though sands can be used as grit for birds, many bird pet owners do not recommend sand. Instead, they suggest investing in a particular chicken grit since these are made keeping the digestive systems of chickens in mind. If possible, you can avoid sand and use proper grit.
These are available in different price ranges and you can find one that fits your budget. Grit packages are more effective than sands and they also come with usage instructions. Therefore, they will not harm your chick or chicken in any manner if you follow the instructions.
Are eggshells good for chickens?
Eggshells are good for chickens as they consist of calcium. It might sound strange that you can feed eggshells to your chickens. But these are very helpful. Eggshells are a great source of calcium for your chickens.
However, you will have to take extra caution if you are planning to feed eggshells to your bird friend. You will have to dry up the eggshells and then crush them so that they cannot recognize them.
Once you start feeding them eggshells, your chickens will start producing more eggs. Also, they will be happier and healthier with more calcium consumption.
You should never use eggshells without grinding them. Your chickens might not prefer to eat whole eggshells. So, first, grind them so that these shells will not be recognizable. When you find it hard to feed your chickens eggshells, you can consider using eggshell supplements.
These are available in the current market. You can mix this supplement with their regular food and feed them separately. You can keep the regular food and the eggshell or eggshell supplement separately in their coop. Let them decide on their food.
Do chickens poop out grit?
As you know different types of chicken grits are available. But most of them are small in size. Grits are like small stones like sands. These are meant to boost the digestion of your chickens and help in absorption.
They will work like their teeth. So, the grit will wear down to a point that it will be small enough to easily pass out in the faeces.
Grit is made for better digestion. It will not cause any digestion problems or stomach issues. Yes, they can have some stomach problems when the amount will be excess. But that does not mean that you will serve a very little quantity.
Just make sure that you are giving the right amount by following the instruction of the manufacturer. Also, you should always avoid grits for your small chicks.
Grit is important for the overall health of your chickens. With better digestion, your chickens will be healthier and happier.
You can simply add these goodies to their food and feed them separately to make them active, energetic, and strong. Grits will easily pass out in their poop.