Grit is anything that would provide a grinding tool in the gizzard, where the feed is broken down. Tiny pebbles, sand, grit, canary or pigeon grit, etc. are all suitable for adults birds, but only canary grit (or something similar in size) should be used for chicks, when necessary.
If your birds are on commercial feed exclusively, then grit is not necessary.
If you add grains or seeds, you should provide grit if the birds do not free-range.
Under free-range conditions, grit is not necessary, although many feel more comfortable if they provide grit on a free-choice basis. This is especially true if you have a bird that tends to ‘load up’ on grass.
Grit is a term used to describe small, hard particles that poultry consume to help grind up their food in the gizzard. The gizzard is a muscular part of the digestive system found in birds that helps to mechanically break down food. Grit is necessary for poultry because they do not have teeth to chew their food. Instead, they swallow their food whole and rely on the grit in their gizzard to help break it down into smaller pieces that can be more easily digested.
There are two main types of grit that can be used for poultry: insoluble grit and soluble grit. Insoluble grit is made up of small, hard particles such as crushed granite or quartz, and it is meant to stay in the gizzard indefinitely. Insoluble grit is typically fed to adult poultry as a supplement to their regular feed.
Soluble grit, on the other hand, is made up of softer particles such as oyster shell or limestone, and it is meant to dissolve in the gizzard over time. Soluble grit is typically fed to young poultry, as their gizzards are not fully developed and may not be able to effectively grind up hard particles.
It is important to provide grit to your poultry, especially if they are not able to forage for their own grit in the environment. Grit is essential for the proper functioning of the gizzard and the overall health of your poultry. However, it is important to note that grit is not a substitute for regular feed and should only be used as a supplement. It is also important to choose the appropriate type of grit for your poultry, as using the wrong type of grit can cause digestive issues.
In conclusion, grit is a necessary supplement for poultry that helps to grind up their food in the gizzard. It is important to provide grit to your poultry, especially if they are not able to forage for their own grit in the environment. However, it is important to choose the appropriate type of grit for your poultry and to use it as a supplement to their regular feed, rather than as a substitute.