1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

eating charcoal

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by erlibrd, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    2,136
    357
    266
    Oct 8, 2010
    mn
    I did a search and read other posts of hens eating charcoal and it's ok for them as long as it's from hardwood with no paints/varnish etc. and never charcoal briquettes for grills.
    But what I'd like to know is why do they like it?? I had the 3 older (21 months) hens in the garage for awhile to hang out (yeah i'm wierd) and they went by the wood stove and found bits and pieces of coal and acted like they found the best treat ever! just curious about it.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,471
    2,097
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I think even wild chickens (jungle fowl) can find charcoal in nature. Wildfires are not all that rare and leave remains that last for years. Many creatures seek out those remains and consume the charcoal. With some creatures that eat food items with toxins, the consumption of charcoal and other materials can be used to neutralize the toxins. My birds seek the stuff out for dusting as well.
     
  3. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    2,136
    357
    266
    Oct 8, 2010
    mn
    Thank you both for the good information. It's so weird how animals will know what is good or not, wish humans had that capability, maybe we do but don't listen to our inner selves...?
    I'll have to gather charcoal and ashes for all my birds.

    But then chickens loving styrofoam just wigs me out! wonder what's up with that!!
     
  4. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    It aids in digestion, and I have heard improves feathers. Dogs will also happily eat charcoal.
     
  5. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

    432
    14
    116
    Jul 27, 2012
    Perhaps maybe the charcoal might be some meat scraps.
     
  6. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    2,136
    357
    266
    Oct 8, 2010
    mn
    This charcoal came out of a wood stove in the shop, not a cooking stove.
     
  7. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,933
    75
    173
    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Perfectly fine and normal but be prepared for an onslaught of black poop.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    LOL I have been noticing black poo myself lately from my girls.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. mountainmom303

    mountainmom303 New Egg

    2
    0
    8
    Apr 29, 2012
    I have been noticing a lot of black poo. I hope it is from the ash I dumped out there.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by