Best Chicken Grit Feeder: Providing Essential Nutrition for Your Flock

When it comes to raising a healthy and productive flock of chickens, providing the right tools and equipment is essential. One often-overlooked but crucial aspect of poultry care is feeding. Chickens, like all birds, require specific nutrients and minerals to thrive, and access to grit is an integral part of their diet.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of grit for chickens, the different types of chicken grit feeders available, and how to choose the best one for your flock.

You may also want to read about the best grit for chickens.

Understanding the Role of Grit in a Chicken’s Diet

Before diving into the world of chicken grit feeders, it’s important to understand why grit is a vital component of a chicken’s diet.

chicken grit feeder
A Good Chicken Grit Feeder is Important.

What is Grit?

Grit consists of small, hard particles, often made of crushed granite or small pebbles, that chickens consume to aid in their digestion. These tiny stones stay in the bird’s gizzard, a muscular part of their stomach, and help grind down and break apart food, especially grains and seeds. Grit is essential because chickens don’t have teeth, so they rely on this natural digestive aid to process their food properly.

Types of Grit:

  1. Insoluble Grit: This type of grit remains in the gizzard and helps break down food. It includes small pebbles, stones, and crushed granite.
  2. Soluble Grit: Soluble grit dissolves in the chicken’s digestive system, providing essential minerals like calcium. Oyster shell is an example of soluble grit.
  3. Supplemental Grit: Some poultry keepers offer supplemental grit containing additional minerals and vitamins to support their birds’ health.

Now that we understand the importance of grit in a chicken’s diet, let’s explore the various types of grit feeders and how to choose the best one for your flock.

Types of Grit Feeders

Grit feeders come in various designs and styles, each with its advantages and considerations. Here are some common types of grit feeders:

1. Open Tray Grit Feeders:

These feeders consist of a shallow, open tray where you can place the grit. Chickens can access the grit as needed. Open tray grit feeders are easy to fill and clean but may not protect the grit from contamination or adverse weather conditions.

2. Hopper Grit Feeders:

Hopper-style grit feeders have a covered container that holds the grit. Chickens can access the grit through openings at the bottom. These feeders provide some protection against contamination and weather but may require more frequent cleaning.

Hanging Grit Dispensers
Modern chicken farm, production of white meat.

3. Hanging Grit Dispensers:

Hanging grit dispensers are suspended from a coop’s ceiling or structure, allowing chickens to peck at the grit from below. These feeders keep the grit clean and dry, but they may not be suitable for all coop setups.

4. Built-In Grit Boxes:

Some coops have built-in grit boxes or troughs incorporated into their design. These provide a convenient and space-efficient way to offer grit to your chickens. However, not all coops come with this feature.

Choosing the Best Chicken Grit Feeder

Selecting the right grit feeder for your chickens involves considering several factors, including your flock’s size, feeding habits, and coop setup. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you choose the best chicken grit feeder:

1. Assess Your Flock’s Size:

Determine the number of chickens in your flock. Larger flocks may require larger or multiple grit feeders to ensure all birds have access.

2. Evaluate Feeding Habits:

Observe how your chickens eat. Are they comfortable accessing grit from a specific type of feeder? Do they tend to waste grit when using a particular design?

3. Consider Coop Design:

Examine your coop’s layout and space. If your coop has limited space, hanging grit dispensers or built-in grit boxes might be more suitable to save space.

4. Weather Considerations:

Think about the local climate and weather conditions. If you live in an area with frequent rain or snow, consider a grit feeder that provides protection from the elements.

5. Ease of Filling and Cleaning:

Choose a grit feeder that is easy to fill and clean. Regular maintenance is essential to prevent contamination and ensure your birds have access to clean grit.

6. Material and Durability:

Look for grit feeders made from sturdy, durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use and exposure to the elements.

7. Accessibility:

Ensure that the grit feeder is accessible to all chickens in the flock. Avoid designs that may favor more dominant birds, leaving others without access.

8. Contamination Prevention:

Select a grit feeder that minimizes the risk of contamination. Open tray feeders, for example, are more susceptible to dirt, feces, and debris.

9. Cost Considerations:

While it’s essential to provide the best for your chickens, consider your budget when choosing a grit feeder. There are options available at various price points to suit different needs.

Additional Tips for Feeding Grit to Chickens

To ensure the success of your grit feeding program and the well-being of your chickens, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Offer Both Insoluble and Soluble Grit:

Provide a combination of insoluble grit (small pebbles or crushed granite) and soluble grit (like oyster shell) to meet all of your chickens’ digestive needs.

2. Monitor Consumption:

Regularly check the grit feeder to ensure it is adequately filled, and your chickens have access to clean grit. Adjust the feeding schedule or refill as needed.

3. Keep it Dry:

Ensure the grit remains dry to prevent clumping or mold growth. Wet grit can become ineffective and pose health risks to your chickens.

4. Offer Free Choice:

Make grit available to your chickens at all times. They will consume it as needed for digestion. Chickens are excellent at self-regulating their intake.

5. Follow Recommendations:

If you have specific dietary concerns or questions about grit feeding, consult with a poultry nutritionist or veterinarian for guidance tailored to your flock’s needs.


Selecting the best chicken grit feeder for your flock is a crucial step in ensuring the health and well-being of your feathered companions. Grit plays a vital role in helping chickens digest their food and access essential minerals, making it a fundamental part of their diet.

Consider factors such as flock size, coop design, and weather conditions when choosing the right grit feeder. Additionally, prioritize ease of filling and cleaning to maintain a hygienic and effective feeding system.

With the proper grit feeder in place and attention to your chickens’ nutritional needs, you’ll contribute to the overall health and vitality of your flock, ultimately leading to happier and more productive chickens in your coop.

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