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Can chickens (and other fowl) actually EAT crushed lime?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LTygress, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently put lime down to help control the bad smell when the chicken pen turns to muck during heavy rains. It's a combination of chicken poop, wet food, and decaying vegetation. So I put a thick coat of crushed "barn lime" on the ground, and covered that with hay (NOT straw like I made the mistake of doing last time), and then a good thick layer of pine shavings.

    I knew the chickens had to be out of the pen to put the lime down, because it's pure dust, and inhaling too much of it can be bad for almost any animal. So they had to be out until it was put down and the dust had settled.

    But what about EATING it? I sometimes use lime in my fish tanks to pull the PH back where I actually want it. And lime is essentially the "calcium" supplement they put in daily multi-vitamin pills they sell at drug stores.

    So what about having chickens EAT it? I have a huge amount leftover, and the "ingredient" is calcium carbonate. Isn't that what chickens use to actually produce the egg shells when it's passing through the oviduct? I know I don't need to give it to them all at once, or in large amounts. I know they need a well-rounded diet. And I don't have any problems with my flock having shell-less eggs, so I would REALLY have to thin it out more than other people who do have those issues. But would it be fine to mix a few spoonfuls into a bucket of feed when feeding my adult chickens?
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I think your question should read, "Will barn lime" cause chemical burns to my chickens feet? I suspect that what you are writing about is not calcium carbonate but calcium hydroxide. The later chemical is used for sweet pickles and is not exactly "Toxic" but it is not exactly harmless.
     
  3. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, I meant calcium carbonate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's the exact same chemical composition as eggshells. I'd feed it if you need to.
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cool beans!

    I don't need to, but it will help the bag get used up a little bit for something... useful... before my nieces and nephews find something else to randomly cover in white dust....

    And one of my friends has a hen that keeps laying soft or no-shell eggs, so I'll take half of it to her to add to their feed!
     

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