Any poultry farmer will tell you that they feel excited every time their chicken lay healthy eggs. However, the only way your brood can keep laying healthy eggs is by keeping them on a healthy and nutritious diet. One essential nutrient that poultry need to lay healthy eggs is calcium. Notably, calcium shell grit is an excellent source of calcium, which helps with digestion. While you can buy ready-made shell grit from a local store, there is no reason why you should not make it at home. It saves you money and is also fun for a newbie poultry farmer. This article highlights crucial steps for making quality shell grit at home.
Purchase Quality Shells
If you want to make quality shell grit, you need top-quality shells. The good news is that you can make grit from chicken or oyster shells. The first thing you should do is to buy oyster shells from feeder stores or local restaurants. Shells sourced from restaurants are whole and raw, but the best part is that they are usually well cleaned, saving time when preparing grit. If you buy shells from a local feeder store, they will most likely be pre-crushed.
Bake the Shells
Calcium shell grit should be fine enough for easy ingestion by birds, which is only possible if you crush it. However, crushing raw shells can be challenging, especially if you have several bags to work with. For this reason, you should bake the shells first. It makes the shells brittle enough and easy to crush. All you have to do is wash the shells thoroughly, dry them, place them inside an oven, and let them bake for a few minutes. Other than making shells brittle and easy to crush, baking kills bacteria and mould usually found on oyster and chicken shells. It goes a long way in ensuring that the calcium shell grit you make at home is safe for your poultry. Once the shells have baked enough, take them out, place them in a bag, and use a hammer to crush them to tiny fragments.
Grind into Powder
Most people believe that crushing shells with a hammer is enough to break them into tiny pieces for easy ingestion by chicken. However, while the shell grit might feel fine in your hands, it is not the same for your brood. Hammer-crushed shell grit still contains sharp fragments that can cut chickens' tongue, making it difficult for them to eat. It is the reason why you should grind crushed shell grit into a fine powder using a food processor. Your birds will have no problem gorging down the powder whichever way you serve it.
To learn more about calcium shell grit, contact a local agricultural products supplier.