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Mel (& Paul)

Getting grit into your chickens

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I have copied these tips from Noeglu and Lesley-Jean - a good way of giving things to chooks

 

 

 

noeglu wrote:

If you have chickens of about 1 year old and they have a spell of not eating enough grit, (like my Henrietta has decided to do and has ended up laying a few soft shelled eggs).

 

You should save some leftover mashed potato and mix in a few medecine spoonfuls of grit in it. Then get the culprut on her own and give the the others some distraction feed. And she will eat it and get grit into her system. It seems to work, as I did this yesterday with Henrietta and she thought it was just normal mash.

Lesley Jean wrote:

I find you can feed your hens all sorts of benificial things in some porridgey mash made from pellets/potatoe/oats etc.

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Wow!

I feel honoured about this! It really does work though as Henrietta my year old Black Rock started to lay softies last week then laid 2 proper ones by herself and then another softie which broke on the floor of there house. Since I gave her the grit mix she's laid two hard eggs!

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I have put a small ramekin dish with grit in just inside the run and saw Margot helping herself to some grit all by herself - she couldn't be bothered with rummaging through the garden!

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aaaahhh!

I've been worrying that mine won't touch the grit and crushed oyster shell I put down for them!

I'll try this tomorrow,

Thanks for the tip, Tara.

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It can be quite tiny - I have bantams, so I get pigeon/cage bird grit, which is about 1mm. That helps with their digestion, then I give baked, crushed eggshells for calcium.

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Great, because I want to get a Silkie...

 

How do you bake the egg shells? Do you just pop them in the middle of the oven on a tray at Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes?

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5-10 mins will do, then crush them up with a rolling pin (I us my coffee grinder :lol: don't tell OH) :lol:

 

What gas mark do you use? (6 seems very high!)

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I just pop my egg shells in at the bottom of the oven whenever I've already got the oven on for something - just for about 5 minutes or so - it saves wasting the gas, putting the oven on specially!

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We got our three a big bag of chicken grit (oyster shells and little stones) they love the little stones but won't even touch the shells!

 

btw: there are two types of grit soluble: the stuff that gets made into eggs. and insoluble: floats around in their belly and grids up food (like roughage)

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i was told by someone on the farm where we bought ours that there is grit in the layers pellets too - is that right?

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Yes Jak, but some hens need more. Do yours free range at all? If they do, they will probably get enough grit from the ground. I bought a small parrot bowl that clips inside the run with added grit, but i have never seen them touch it!

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No, ours don't free range - we have sprinkled extra in the grass in their run but they don't seem that interested. Have just baked 3 eggshells and sprinkled on their pellets. I hope I don't have to keep doing that!

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Grit is so they can "digest" their food in their crop. Eggshells (or oyster shell) is good for the hardness of shells. You might find that they do pick up the grit as and when and you may not realise how much they are taking.

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Grit is needed to help them digest food, baked egg shells gives them extra calcium for shell production. You can buy mixed grit with oyster shell (for calcium) preprepared that some people leave in a dish in the run. If you girls look healthy and lay hard shelled eggs, i wouldn't worry to much about adding extra.

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Looks like the grit I am giving them has a mix of stuff in it - they gave me it at the farm when I bought them.

 

They have turned their beaks up at a separate container of it though!

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I get really brittle shells from my girls and have tried oyster shell (they spit it out :shock: ).

Will try the mashed potato method though! They LOVE pasta and I have tried mixing it with that. But the shell is left in the bottom.

 

I must say I didn't realise that they could eat whole potatoes!

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I get really brittle shells from my girls and have tried oyster shell (they spit it out :shock: ).

Will try the mashed potato method though! They LOVE pasta and I have tried mixing it with that. But the shell is left in the bottom.

 

I must say I didn't realise that they could eat whole potatoes!

 

Give them Limestone Flour.

 

It does the trick beautifully.

 

It is powdered calcium carbonate...available at equine suppliers.

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