Chicken Gizzard: Features, Purpose…

Chicken gizzard is among the MOST important internal organs found in the body of chickens. All birds have gizzards. May it be a small bird like the Bee Humming bird to Ostriches the largest of them, they all have gizzards.

These special and unique organs are very important in the digestion of chickens. Without this special organ, chickens cannot digest food.

Let us break down more about a chicken gizzard. Keep reading to know more.

What is a gizzard

A gizzard is an organ lined with thick muscles that are used to grind food. The grinding process in this organ is facilitated by the presence of sand, tiny stones and grit. Gizzards are found in birds, fish, earthworms, crocodiles and some crustaceans.

It helps break down large food and hard particles in small and fine particles that can be easy to digest and absorb in the body.

Chickens in this case are example of living things that do not chew food but rather swallow it whole. Some foods that chickens eat like grains and peanuts are hard and require to be broken down for digestion. Therefore, the gizzard with the help of grit grinds them into smaller particles that are easily digestible.

How does the gizzard work in chicken?

Chickens have beaks unlike mammals that have mouth like human beings. Beaks are external feature that are used by birds to feed. These structures pick up food and it is swallowed and stored in the crop for some time.

The food then moves down to proventiculus or what is known to be the true stomach in chickens. Here, digestive enzymes are added in the food and digestion kicks off.

After enzymes are added the food now passes down to the gizzard where it is` finely grinded. In the gizzards there are hundreds of small stones, grit and sand that is swallowed by chickens.

This grit with the help of tough muscles that line up the gizzard walls break food into smaller particles and pass it to the proventiculus. This process is repeated several times until the food if fine for absorption.

What is gizzard grit?

Grit is made up of small stones, sand and crushed shells that chicken eat. When these particles settle in the gizzard, they are called gizzard grit. Grit works by breaking or fragmenting large food particles that are hard like grains into small particles.

Because chickens do not have teeth, gizzards help chew food for them. With time, gizzard grit becomes smooth and worn out due to the grinding action. It is excreted and replaced by other large particles that chic kens eat.

What is the importance of gizzards in chickens?

They help break large food particles into small particles.

These organs regulate flow of feeds in the body.

Gizzards help in chemical degradation of nutrients.

They respond rapidly to changes in the coarseness of the diet.

Final Thoughts

Gizzards are used to make yummy delicacies in many parts of the world. The most surprising part is in Kenya where gizzards are fried and preserved for the elderly or men.

Don’t just feed chickens but think of how they break down those mangoes, grains and vegetable scraps you feed to them.

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