Can I use potting soil as dirt substitute? were snowed in!!!

Flowers of Abba

Mar 7, 2009
South lake tahoe
I realize that the post said it all... but, We have dirt about 5 feet down . SNOW SNOW SNOW. They are fighting and I am adding protein, a roost in the run, an additional feeding station, scratch, plenty of oyster shells, and treats.... but they are unable to distract themselves from each other by "bathing" because of our snow.

Is it o.k. to give them some potting soil, (no fertilizer, or additives) just plain potting soil? in a box? Also I have some week old chicks that are kicking out their food and messing around dust bathing in it?!? can I put something in the brooder for them to clean out. I have never had a chick that young try to have a bath like that!>!

any advice would be helpful.
For the chicks, I would try topsoil. Potting soil contains vermiculite (the white styrafoam looking stuff) its a form of lava rock. I would be afraid of them eating that and impacting their crops. You could also use paper towels. I used paper towels for the first 2 weeks for our chicks. For the grown chickens, it'll be fine. Hope this helps!
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If you are sure it's plain. Potting soil very frequently has something added even if it's just to help loosen it up. You can get very cheap plain compost or peat moss about this time of year. Both should be nice and fluffy for dirt bathes. You could also go to the hardware store and get a bag of handy sand or a calcium based sand if you are in the southern states. It's very fine white or grey sand that should say it's not suitable for sand blasting. I use it for all my smaller indoor animals (mammal or bird) to dust bathe in. Less than $5 for 50lbs here. Don't give the calcium based ones to chicks.
OK, Another question. We will be using shavings (but now I'm thinking about soil!!), will it hurt to sprinkle Sweet PDZ into it for a bit of odor control? We use this in the coop to keep it dry and control the odors when things get damp. Which seems like MOST of the time lately

Doll Maker
Ohh, I have peat moss somewhere in the garage left over from the summer!!! Didn't think they could use that!

I have heard good things about sand and plan to redo my run with river sand. not sure where to get it when the sand and gravel is buried in snow.

In the brooder I'm going to put their shavings at one end and their dirt at the other end with their food and water in the middle.

It's like when you move into a new house and get to decorate!!!!

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