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Date Posted: 00:09:58 09/05/11 Mon
Author: akane
Author Host/IP: 207.32.63.201
Subject: Re: Thinking about getting quail
In reply to: Thomas 's message, "Re: Thinking about getting quail" on 19:03:59 08/28/11 Sun

Oyster shell is not grit and calcium sources are not grit. They are too soft to be used as true grit. Real grit is not digestible by the bird and remains until it is worn down or passed. Usually granite grit is the choice for poultry. Sometimes you can find really small granite grit at the feed store (they label them by # size which I forget the smallest or "chick grit") or sometimes small containers at the pet store. Birds can swallow a lot larger grit than you think but I use a soft sand from the hardware store made from granite and have used it as the only bedding before but it looked dirty too quickly. Some people have used regular play sand as grit for chicken chicks and small poultry when they couldn't get much else. Make sure when you first put grit in that they don't over eat it. Sometimes when first exposed to such things poultry can go a little silly and put too much indigestible grit in their digestive tract so there is no room for food until it wears down or passes. Same with calcium sources although these will digest and leave the system faster so are less of a health risk if they over eat on it at first.

Never use cedar around animals. The smell is actually toxic fumes that will cause respiratory infections and liver damage. Pine is generally considered ok. Although some won't use it because it has the same volatile oils and prefer to only use hardwood shavings like aspen. It's best to get kiln dried pine or to slit the bag open and air it out for a few days to a week before use in cages that have poor ventilation like aquariums.

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