All Birds Need Grit!
What is grit?
Why do birds need it?
Where can I find it?
These are all good questions, and questions I here all the time.
Especially during winter.
All birds have gizzards and need something to aid in grinding and digesting their food.
You may see a bird eating sand in your gardens or picking up small pebbles from a road side and swallowing them.
Sometimes they will scrape course materials from brick walls and buildings.
This my friend is a bird's grinding tool.
Tools that rub and grind together in the gizzard breaking down seeds for digestion. As it wears down it too passes through the system.
Some higher end seed blends already have it mixed in. Look at the ingredients on the bag.
You will see a list of items like sunflower, millet, safflower and grit. The product is listed from what it contains most of to least of.
If your birdseed doesn't contain this necessity, you can always buy something to give your feathered friends.
Specialty stores offer ground oyster shell. Oyster shell is a wonderful item to offer birds. As it grinds down, the calcium is absorbed by the birds.
As with humans calcium helps with strong bones and muscles. It also aids in stronger eggs for better reproduction.
You can also purchase plain (no colors please) fish gravel.
Another good source is egg shells.
Be sure to wash your shells thoroughly.
It works best to bake them or nuke them for a couple of minutes.
Cooking the shells aids in sterilization and makes them more brittle for easy crushing into smaller pieces.
Often you will see birds eating eggs shells before and during mating season.
Offer your course mixture in a separate dish or lid from a jelly jar or shallow tray.
You can also mix it with your feed (about a 5% ratio)
You may also spread in on the ground where you see the birds foraging.
Now you know why birds need this and all the other good stuff.
Feeding birds is a great hobby when you know what to offer them.
See what to feed birds with your grit at the main page
Choose the right feeders
Create a bird garden
Trees attract birds
Shrubs for birds
Flowers for birds
Offer Fresh Water Always
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