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chickens eating charcoal?!? is this normal?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by missourichickenmama, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. missourichickenmama

    missourichickenmama SURPRISE!

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    I was out gathering ashes for the chicken coop and was picking out the charcoal then threw them aside, then my chickens came up and started eating the charcoal! Not just pecking it either, swallowing it! is this normal? Will it hurt them?



    (I debated for a while about whether to put it in chicken behaviors and egg laying, or feeding and watering your flock.I decided on feeding and watering your flock. Sorry if this was the wrong place to put it.)
     
  2. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    If it's charcoal from a grill - the kind that comes in a bag made for BBQ'ing - yes it can be harmful.

    If it is from a wood-burning fire, it's actually good for them!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Looks like if they are eating it - this should be the right place to put the question about it, IMO [​IMG].

    Charcoal? Here's what Dryden said about it in 1909: "Charcoal is a bowel regulator, and most of the successful poultrymen feed it regularly."

    James Dryden was an professor of poultry science and the guy who originated the California Grey laying hen. Oregon State University has put his booklet, "Feeding for Eggs" on the internet so folks can download - really, a sensible guy.

    I've never heard why it is no longer commonly fed to chickens but doubt if just ordinary charcoal will cause any problems.

    Steve
     
  4. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:ASHES for the chicken coop ? WHY ? I never heard of that
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  5. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

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    They take a dust bath in the ashes to get rid of mites etc.

    I have a brake drum and I fill it with sand and ashes from the fire place. They love to roll in it.
     
  6. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:NEVER heard of that
     
  7. missourichickenmama

    missourichickenmama SURPRISE!

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    Quote:so that they can dust bathe in the winter,it keeps them from getting mites I hear.



    Quote:it's from a wood burning fire, we have an out door fire pit thingamabob (I don't know what exactly the proper name for it is...) and a fireplace. it came from the out door fire pit thingamabob.


    did you know that thingamabob is actually in my spell check, i did not even add it to my spell check dictionary!
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've got 1 or 2 thingamabobs and there's also a doohickey. A whatchamacallit can come in real handy when working on doodads. (checks out in Firefox spellchecker)

    These things are sitting idle lately because, with all the doodads, I haven't got a round tooit. And, that ain't in my spellchecker so there's little hope!

    Steve's digits
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I have never heard of chickens eating charcoal. I learn new things every day.
     
  10. Ladyhawke1

    Ladyhawke1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have always fed my birds (I have no chickens as present) BLUE HEALTH GRIT. It is made by Volkman Seed in Ceres, California. It has charcoal in it. It is supposed to sweeten the crop.

    I would be careful with old pieces of charcoal briquettes because they have been treated with inflammable substances. Some of this stuff may remain in product even after being burned. I believe that this could be toxic to your chickens. [​IMG]
     

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