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How to Make Grit for Homing Pigeons

Updated April 17, 2017

Along with food and water, homing pigeons need grit -- or small rocks -- to survive. Because birds do not have teeth or stomachs, they must grind their food in their gizzards using grit in order to digest it. Commercial grit for homing pigeons is available, but you can also make your own fairly easily. (Reference 1)

Place concrete pieces or rocks on hard surface. Smash with sledgehammer until pea-sized pieces remain. If grit is too large, pigeons won't eat it. If it is too small, they will have to eat it constantly. (Reference 1)

Place pea-sized gravel in large bucket.

Add crushed oyster shells in ratio of one part oyster shells to three parts gravel.

Add crushed charcoal in same ratio as oyster shells. Sprinkle mixture with small amount of salt.

Stir mixture until uniform. Provide grit to pigeons in covered tray to avoid contamination from droppings. (Reference 1)

Things You'll Need

  • Pieces of concrete or stone
  • Crushed oyster shells
  • Crushed charcoal
  • Salt
  • Large bucket
  • Sledgehammer
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About the Author

Matthew Huntington has been writing travel articles since 2002. His pieces have appeared in "National Geographic Traveler," "American Way" and "The Miami Herald." Huntington speaks fluent Spanish and has lived in many parts of Latin America, including Ecuador, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in European studies from Brigham Young University.