Five Types of Poultry Grit for Your Chickens
Poultry grit is used to help chickens grind their food down in their stomachs. As chickens do not have teeth, this is important to help them break the food down. There are several types of grit that you might want to consider.
The cheapest option is just to use any small stones that you find in your yard or the surrounding area. Ideally, you would use stones that are smaller in size than a pea. Chickens will be able to swallow these easily and they will help to grind their food. Just scatter them around near where the chickens are feeding. Although this is a free and simple option, there are advantages to commercially available types of grit.
Flint grit consists of very tiny flakes of granite - much smaller than you will be able to collect naturally. This is particularly useful for baby birds, as large pieces of grit will be too big for them to swallow. You will probably find it too small for adult birds though.
This is the standard type of poultry grit. It is similar to the types of stones you might find yourself in, but each piece will be the right size for your adult birds. You can scatter it on the ground for the chickens to pick up themselves, or you can try mixing it into their feed. Don't worry about overdoing it — if the birds do not need it, they will not eat it.
Oyster shell grit
This grit is made from ground-up oyster shells. It has two advantages over granite. Firstly, it is rich in vitamin C and will help your birds to produce stronger eggs. Secondly, it will naturally break down in the birds' stomachs. You can also buy oyster shell grit with added probiotics. It can therefore be a good choice if your chickens have problems with their digestive systems.
Finally, you can buy a mixture of granite grit and oyster shell grit. This will have the advantages of both types of grit. Mixed grit is a good all-around solution that helps break down the food while protecting the birds' digestive systems.
Whichever type of grit you decide upon, don't be afraid to use plenty. Your birds depend on it to digest their food properly. If you are still unsure or have any other concerns, just ask your supplier for further advice.