Are your chickens getting enough calcium?

Posted on: 3 November 2020

Keeping chickens can be a great way of providing a source of fresh eggs for sale or just for the use of your own family. If you keep chickens on your property, then you will know that there is plenty that you have to do to keep them happy and healthy. You must provide them with a safe environment and ensure that they get all of the food that they need to thrive. One aspect of their care that you can't afford to ignore is the need for plenty of calcium. When your chickens need calcium, shell grit is a good way to provide it. Adding shell grit to their diet will help to maintain their digestive system and ensure they are not lacking in vital nutrients. 

What is shell grit?

If you visit your local pet store, you will be able to find plenty of grit for sale. The grit is normally supplied as either flint grit or shell grit. Flint grit is normally crushed granite, while shell grit is crushed oyster shells or limestone, often with added eggshells for added calcium. Sometimes you will find mixed grit for sale, which allows the chickens to pick out whichever pieces of grit their diet is lacking.

Why do calcium levels matter?

Shell grit assists with grinding down food in the chickens' gizzard and keeps them supplied with nutrients, but why is the calcium shell grit provides so essential? Perhaps, the most obvious reason is that good calcium levels are needed to ensure that the shells on the eggs that the chickens lay will be strong enough. Secondly, sufficient calcium is vital for the general health of the chicken since it helps them to maintain good bone strength so that they can live long and healthy lives without injuring themselves.

Why bother with shell grit?

Many chicken owners believe that if their chickens can naturally find calcium, shell grit isn't needed, but can your chickens really find all of the nutrients that they need? It's true that if you have free-range chickens, they will be able to peck around on the ground and find plenty of grit but that doesn't always amount to the right level of calcium entering their system. If your chickens are restricted to a coop run or a small fenced enclosure, their dietary options are likely to be even more limited. By adding shell grit to their food, you can be certain that your chickens have everything that they need.

Visit a store to find calcium shell grit for your chickens. 


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