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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
M a newbie getting my pullets in a week. I'm making my feeders and am wondering if I need to make separate ones for grit and oyster shell or is that mixed with food. Also, if my run litter is sand, do I need grit? What is it exactly? Thanks all.
 

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I've NEVER used Grit OR Oyster Shell.
My chickens get their "grit" from the soil....ground. ( I have put some leftover sand out in their run.)
Your "Layer-Feed" will have sufficient Calcium for them when they begin laying. You DON'T want to feed the baby-chicks extra Calcium. It isn't good for them. When they begin laying....you can save up egg-shells---crush them----and add to their feed, if you wish... They'll eat it IF they want to.
I wouldn't "waste-the-money" on GRIT or OYSTER SHELL. ( SAVE the money for your "Layer-Feed". It's getting expensive.)

My 2-pesos worth.
ReTIRED
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all. I'm getting only 3 birds, all my city will allow; a Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock and Buff Orpington. I'm so glad I've found this site, I never thought I'd need so much information about chickens. I spent the better part of 10 min today, studying pictures of what "normal" chicken poop looks like! :) So, from what I gather here, I won't need a calcium supplement until after they begin to lay, which is when they are switched over to layer feed. If I do supplement they will be served the Oyster shell (or egg shell, hadn't thought of that, would they get a taste for eating their own eggs if they eat the shells?) separately, and grit shouldn't be needed. How might I be able to tell if they do in fact need grit? Thank you all so much, super helpful!
 

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IF you use a "LAYER-feed"...it will contain ALL the Calcium that your hens will need.
You won't need to "supplement" their feed.
AND...IF your hens have access to the ground. ( where some very small stones are ...like sand )......they won't need GRIT either....They'll find their own.
I LIKE your choices of Breeds.....ALL very good egg-layers !!!
:)
ReTIRED

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ReTired! I like them too, and visually a nice looking bunch too. With such a small flock, I had to get the best layers I could. I'm loving your response to my questions, they mirror my thinking and one of the reasons I've picked sand litter was for the purpose of eliminating grit. Thank you, all of you. I can't wait to share some pictures.
 

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I do use oyster shell and grit along with the layer feed. It may be more of where we live, as it is the general consensus here. I live in Alaska and the girls certainly eat a lot of oyster shell, or crushed up egg shell in the winter. Probably has to do with a lack of sun. Vitamin D/calcium absorption thing. Since they don't get to free range much due to several feet of snow, I offer grit as well. In the summer, they hardly touch any of it.
 
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