Chickens Eating Perlite??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TwoCrows, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I keep my chickens in an old garden area that is no longer used. The chickens are digging up the entire thing and bringing up old perlite from potting soil, bits of charcoal and other old debris from the plants of long ago. There is TONS of this stuff and there is no way to clean it out of the ground.

    Is this perlite stuff safe for them to eat? They dine on it like they are starving to death!
     
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  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    It's safe for them to eat. In my experience, chickens like white, shiny, or something that looks like seeds to them. I remember my hens found something Styrofoam and started fighting over little bits of it. But since this is not plastic, it's safe to eat.
     
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  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Thanks. I had no idea about this Perlite, as they have been eating it for about a year now and nobody has died.

    What about the large amounts of wood ash chips? I am not talking about a few bites..there is tons of carbon from the wood ashes we used to dump in there. The chickens eat LARGE quantities of this stuff. Sometimes I think it give them the runs. Is it too much for them?
     
  4. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    If it's giving them the runs, you can try to block the area they go too. I know if you crush the ash, and sprinkle it in dusting holes, it can prevent mites, sometimes and sometimes not. Make sure they have constant feed. You don't want them to live off of that like some people live off of samples at Costco!
     
  5. Stormy Autumn

    Stormy Autumn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perlite is actually a type of volcanic stone, so they should be able to eat it just like grit. Some of the cheaper potting soil has actual styrofoam balls in it (which is spongey instead of crunchy like perlite) and I'm not sure if it would be ok for them to eat those.
     
  6. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, styrofoam is not okay. It doesn't have anything in it for them, it isn't good if they are laying eggs either.

     
  7. Stormy Autumn

    Stormy Autumn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would actually be more nervous that it's indigestible and might cause some kind of blockage. Kind of like when a dog eats pantyhose or rubber. I got a bunch of plants that had styrofoam in the dirt, and thanks to the wind and rain it ended up all over the yard. I'm kind of crossing my fingers that my ducks don't develop a taste for it.

     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  8. Tammy N

    Tammy N Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for posting i was going to ask this Question as my pets are my only babies , some times i raise them to eat but i love them and sometimes I will say NO NO NO i can not do it lol .
    so we got egg/meat That way i can change my mind " WINKS"
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Good discussion.

    I found this in my search to decide if old potting mix would be safe to discard in compost or use for potted plants accessible to my hens. Thanks, got the answer I was hoping for.
     
  10. flyingfilly

    flyingfilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anything else in flowers from Home Depot that I should worry about for my girls?

    Thanks for any info!
    Brigitte
     

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