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Do Cockatiels need to be fed "GRIT"?


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#1 Snow13

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 10:33 PM

I had a discussion with a customer at Petsmart about a week ago who was getting a cockatiel from a friend.  She was trying to pick up the supplies she would need for him and was asking me if this one product was the "grit" her friend told her she feeds her cockatiel.  Do they have to have grit?  We never fed ours grit when we carried them at our Petsmart store.........I told her that, but she said the lady is already feeding this one grit, so............?
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Crimson Bellied Conures:  Scarlett and Sherlock

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#2 Monica

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 03:15 AM

If you feed a bird grit, and they eat too much, it can impact their crops and kill them. There's also soluable grit vs insoluable grit.

Short and simple, parrots don't *NEED* grit, but it wont kill them either if you feed it in *VERY* small amounts. A lot of people will say that it's not worth the risk of feeding grit due to the potential death, but truth be told, it's not a common occurance, and may happen more often in birds that are sick rather than those that are healthy. Oh, and, parrots eat 'grit' in the wild!

#3 Maskimus noiceius.

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:03 AM

I feel 2 kinds of grit.

The one is a shell based grit (mainly crushed oyster shell) and they have a full cup available all day every day.  The other one is more coarse and takes alot longer to digest, this is offered in a very small amount (half a pinch per bird) ever 12-14 days and helps aid digestion of certain foods.  Some say it's not needed, some swear by it.  I started using it based on the recommendations of other breeders.   Shell based grits are no different to cuttle, perfectly safe and a good source of calcium! :)

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#4 Snow13

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:29 AM

Thanks you two!!
45 Lovebirds: Zo and Bella, Taz and Leiloni, Paddy and Snow White, Julius and Cleopatra, Peaches and Herb, Valentino and Sunny, Xena and Zeus, Apollo and Athena, Oakley and Cami, Scout and Girlie, Indigo and Isis, Bowen and Isolde, , Roxy and Houdini, Kiwi and Mango, and Tucker and Jane, Skyye and Jade, and Butter, Ziggy and Zorro, Donald and Ivana, Mr and Mrs. Pied; Toodles and 3 babies from Peaches and Herb

2 Quaker Parrots:, Chili and Tattoo

Cherry Head Conure: Bing

Turquoise Green Cheeks: Goose and Gracie, Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure: Princess and Pineapple GC: Tang, Pineapple Turquoise: Natasha, Normal GC Boris, Turquoise GC: Romeo; Turqoise Yellowsided GC: Juliet; Yellowsided GC: George

Crimson Bellied Conures:  Scarlett and Sherlock

Whiteface Pearl Cockatiel: Pearl

5 Dogs: Oliver, Nana, Bonnie, Cricket, and Kiskahttp://www.birdloversonline.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7353&d=1264432623





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#5 Guest_altgirl35_*

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:58 AM

no they do not need grit, grit is for birds that eat seeds whole it helps the gizzard grind up whole seed, tiels hull the seed before they eat it.
oyster shell is fine for calcium but serves no other purpose

#6 Guest_BkMaurer_*

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:06 AM

You have to be careful.  I have a box of "grit" here, and it is sand.  for birds like finches, who don't have crops.  So, if it is the "sand" grit, then no they don't need it.  If it is the oyster shell pieces, then yes they need it.

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:13 AM

No "hook bill" needs grit, as they hull their seeds...........it's for birds with "straight" beaks who cannot open their seeds that need the grit to grind the food in their gizzards for easy digestion.  I have heard of horrible things happening with impacting the digestive tract.  I wouldn't chance it.......cuttle bones and/or calcium, mineral blocks are all that I have ever offered.

#8 Maskimus noiceius.

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:26 AM

Grit comes in many forms,  so to say they don't need it is generalising and a little inaccurate.  Here we have specific grits for hook bills.  They are made up of mainly soluble shell and are a form of mineral supplementation.

Now the grit that does aid digestion is a largely debatable subject.  Whilst I know plenty of people who are against it for all hook billed birds, there's also many who are for it.  I think the majority of the best lovebird breeders in the world offer it to their birds, believing in it's benefits.  Most of them have been sucessfully breeding birds since long before I was born, and still have faith in it, so I can argue that.  There are many forms of grit though, some much more soluble that others.  

I use a shell based grit which is no different to a bird eating a mineral block or cuttle bone.  I also offer a proper grit, that is soluble, i.e digests easy.

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#9 craftsmaster

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 04:16 PM

I certainly agree with you Maskimus. Cockatiel needs to be fed grit which is fast and easy to digest. But I'll still stand on my ground, straight and firm, that natural way of feeding is still the best way to deal with it.
Carmel Santos
Author of The Ultimate Guide to Parrots
The Australian Guide to Parrots

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#10 armin

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 05:06 PM

Jill, to avoid debates that will last forever tell your customers opinions are shared and to walk in the middle just give the tiels mineral blocks and cuttlebone... that is the best "grit" ever.... and they definitely don't need sand....