Grit - How bad is it [Archive] - Talk Budgies Forums

: Grit - How bad is it


shailynb
04-02-2010, 12:05 PM
Is Grit all that bad for your Budgie? I read and was told that Budgies who do not live in the wild need a little extra help to digest thier food. So I bought some High Calcium Grit ( Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro-Health High Cal Grit Supplement )
I have not even opened it yet, and I spent about 6$ on it.
Should I just throw it away?
Or could it be helpful to my birds.

They don't like veggies or fruit either.
They're like picky little kids who dont like thier vegtables.

Any suggestions?

SpickyDavies
04-02-2010, 12:26 PM
if you'd like to try grit, go for soluble girt like oyster shell, limestone, marble and gypsum

lotus15
04-02-2010, 12:35 PM
It's debated, but I would never feed my budgies gravel/rock (insoluble) grit. Almost all the research I've ever read says that it is not for psittacine consumption-- it's for passerines like canaries/finches. Both of my avian vets advised me not to use it as well. They have both seen several cases of budgies and other parrots fed grit that caused crop impaction.

shailynb
04-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Ingredients:
Granite Grit, Oyster Shell, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Charcoal, Mineral Oil, Orange Oil, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Carbonate, Copper Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate.

Sounds.. um interesting to be feeding to birds?
Is this good for them, or you recommend I don't.

Vickie
04-02-2010, 12:43 PM
Some birds eat seeds whole and require grit, but budgies hull their seeds. If you look in their seed dish you will see the empty shells. They do not need help digesting, even though grit is sold for them.

Actually, that's one thing I would caution anyone about: just because something is sold in pet stores, doesn't mean it is safe! Pet stores sell plenty of items that are unsuitable, such as hamster cages that are only suitable for mice, round bird cages or toys that contain toxic metal parts. It helps to do research before shopping for items at a pet store, so you can pick out safe toys and quality cages, items, etc.

Kristie
04-02-2010, 12:44 PM
I offer it to my Sky but he never touches the stuff.....

4711
04-02-2010, 01:21 PM
Ingredients:
Granite Grit, Oyster Shell, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Charcoal, Mineral Oil, Orange Oil, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Carbonate, Copper Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate.

Sounds.. um interesting to be feeding to birds?
Is this good for them, or you recommend I don't.


Finches eat whole seeds, Parakeets shell theirs. So you can offer oystershell or eggshell, but that is more of a calcium supplement - especially for hens not a bad thing.

The stuff you got, maybe offer it to the feathered friends outside...(not sure on the mineral oil in it...)

shailynb
04-02-2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks everybody - I think I will leave the Grit out of my Budgies diet.
Now to get them to eat thier veggies..

louara
04-02-2010, 11:57 PM
Good choice:)

Moontwinkle
04-03-2010, 12:38 AM
Try making cornbread muffins with organic veggie baby food instead of milk and some seed or pellets. They WILL eat it. And they won't know it has veggies in it.

Renae.
04-03-2010, 03:22 AM
If your budgie(s) are not able to digest seeds for some reason which I don't think I've ever came across this sitaution, then MAYBE if your Avian Vet has recommended it then you could, but I think there'd be other options if that were the case and grit would be something you'd use as the very, very, very last resort.

riotfox
04-03-2010, 04:25 AM
my vet says grit is alright once in a while but not constantly on offer or in large quantities. we were talking about shellgrit though...

ETAHoffman
04-03-2010, 08:51 AM
You've touched on a very controversial subject here. I'm always amazed at some of the comments when it comes to grit. I, too, have asked my vets about grit and they all say it is perfectly fine to use. Birds don't eat JUST grit. They use small quantities, if any, to help grind the seed in their crops. Yes, they hull the seed. It still needs to be ground to be easily digested and, since they have no teeth, that is what the grit does. I've used it for many many years with no problems at all. I simply place a small dish of it in my aviary and let those birds that want it use it. I have about 30 to 35 parakeets in the aviary and they probably comsume one box per year. I also provide cuttle bone and calcium blocks for them, of course. Bottom line is use it if you like. It won't hurt and will probably help.

Since I wrote the above, I've quickly pulled out three books and thought I'd pass on what they say about grit. Hope it helps you, and others, with this question....

From Parakeets - A Complete Pet Owner's Manual written by Annette Wolter. Barron's Press: (She starts by mentioning using sand in the bottom of the cage. Then: "The sand that is scattered on the cage floor is not only a hygienic measure but also important for the health of the parakeet. The bird takes grit from the sand for daily help in digestion. In addition, the sand is enriched with calcium and other minerals."

From Pet Library's Parakeet Guide by Cyril Rogers (one of the foremost Budgie authorities in Britain), Under the heading "Gravel and Grit": Since the chief part of a budgie's diet is hard seed, it is essential to supply the bird with an ample quantity of mixed grit or gravel to help digest it. Budgerigars, like all birds, lack teeth, and "Mastication" is performed internally in an organ known as the gizzard. The gizzard retains a quantitiy of these sharp-edged grits. The swallowed seeds go first into the crop, and then by degrees into the gizzard. There it is grounds ot that it can be assimilated. By constant grinding, these bits of gravel lose their sharp edges, wear down and are passed along and out of the body. Naturally, they must be replaced if the bird is to be kept in first rate condition, so it is necessary to always have a cup of mixed grit in the cage."

And last, from Budgerigar Handbook by Ernest H. Hart under "Basic Nutritional Essentials": "Grit supplies the element necessary to grind the swallowed food in the gizzard to a consistency which can be easily digested. There are several commercially blended grits which also contain many minerals necessary to bird health." Just below this, in the Hart book, is a diagram showing the digestive system of the budgerigar. Hulled seed goes down the gullet into the crop. Then, through the Glandular Stomact into the gizzard where it is ground by grit. From there it continues through the duodenum, pancreas, intestine, and on down the road to finally be expelled out the cloaca.

Again, bottom line is: "If they need it, they eat it. If they don't, they won't."

Hope this answers your question.

Tom

evsrin
04-03-2010, 09:28 AM
I agree with Tom. I offer some (it's a grit mix) in one of my cages, and my female went crazy over it right before she started producing eggs. Now, she uses very little of it. Just offer it in a different cup and only leave like a tablespoon or less in there at any time. I haven't added any more in over 3 weeks. They use it when they want to, and leave it when they don't want any. It doesn't go bad, just be sure to throw it away if it gets soiled. I have mine stuck in a corner of the cage where they can't reall soil it because they are never directly above it. Hope this helps!

ronsig
04-03-2010, 11:41 AM
I remember the budgies of my childhood. We always gave them grit, because that's what the pet stores sold. These birds lived for a long time. I had no idea that grit wasn't necessary until I joined forums.

I offer my birds a variety of stones and calcium supplements. I hope they will eat it when they need it.

When I watch budgies at zoos, I see that they are digging around the soil and they are eating some too. I wonder what it is they are getting there. :S

Sigrid

4711
04-03-2010, 12:11 PM
From Parakeets - A Complete Pet Owner's Manual written by Annette Wolter. Barron's Press: (She starts by mentioning using sand in the bottom of the cage. Then: "The sand that is scattered on the cage floor is not only a hygienic measure but also important for the health of the parakeet. The bird takes grit from the sand for daily help in digestion. In addition, the sand is enriched with calcium and other minerals."




She must be European, that type of sand is not available in the US.

SpickyDavies
04-03-2010, 12:15 PM
i'm glad we don't have to eat rocks! wouldn't like to pass one off them out

shailynb
04-03-2010, 12:24 PM
Hmm.. very debating here.
I will try a tablespoon and see how my birds react to it.
They dont eat thier cuttle bone, nor thier nutritional block I bought them.
They need it somehow!

SpickyDavies
04-03-2010, 12:48 PM
the mix youve got is full of random rubbish
Granite Grit, Oyster Shell, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Charcoal, Mineral Oil, Orange Oil, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Carbonate, Copper Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate.


i would not offer it. Try a soluble grit like suggested
if budgies do really need help with grinding up food- it will do that and then dissolve and not cause impact


oyster shell grit is widely available

lotus15
04-03-2010, 01:00 PM
She must be European, that type of sand is not available in the US.

I believe she's American, but this is one of the many reasons why I take serious issue with her book (she has a ton of poorly researched information)... that type of sand isn't available in the US (at most places at least) anymore, but at one point it was. More recent and authoritative books and sources have all agreed that sand is not an appropriate cage liner nor appropriate for ingestion.

shailynb
04-03-2010, 05:57 PM
I bought them Oyster Shell Grit from Hagen

Jimm-V
04-05-2010, 01:34 AM
Like Tom and Erin, I am also a grit advocator. Thumps up for another vote for grit usage.

Mine is called Calcium & Mineral Grit.
Ingredients : gastric grinding stones, oyster shells, seashells, redstones and charcoal.

I add finely hammered eggshells (cleaned, boiled, de-membraned, dried and hammered) to this calcium and mineral grit. More eggshells in proportion to grit. The budgies have been eating sparingly for more than 1.5 years. No issue at all. I believe experience counts better than hearsay from avian vets.