VM8054 Veterinary Histology

True Grit

Author: Dr. Thomas Caceci

Pen-raised birds on commercial feed generally don't require that grit be added to the diet, because the feed is formulated carefully to break apart easily and so grit is unnecessary. Fruit eating psittacines (parrots and macaws) also eat a very soft diet and so they don't need grit, either. But many caged birds, including the psittacines, do benefit from the presence of grit, and it's often recommended. Oyster shells are frequently used, not only as a source of grit for mastication, but as a calcium supplement. Birds have very high levels of circulating calcium and a much higher metabolic demand for it than mammals do.

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