Eating mud?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mysterybirds, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Mysterybirds

    Mysterybirds In the Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    I really do feed my flock!

    Now that the eggs ar no longer being eaten about have the gals have taken to eating mud out of one big hole. The wramer weather we had for a few days melted the area and they all have been wandering around with mudcaked beaks. In the morning they run straight over once I open the door. It is out of the question again, now that the weather has cooled off and we got another 4 inches of snow, but I'm sure they will return to it.

    Any particular reason they are doing this? Is there yet another thing I am not providing them? Or is this just one of the things they like to do, along with pulling frogs apart in the summer and sitting on my back whenever I bend over?
  2. Catalina

    Catalina Songster

    Jul 19, 2007
    My girls love to eat dirt too. Their favorite flavor is potted plant-and it's even better if they can kill the plant by eating the dirt and scratching. LOL [​IMG]
  3. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    they're just having fun and looking for bugs. wouldn't you like to slurp mud with a great beak like that? okay, well, prolly you wouldn't. but they do.
  4. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    I would say looking for worms and maybe getting grit is a good guess. My chickens seem to have a fascination for water, every time I turn the hose on, they come running. The hate being sprayed but love the wet soil. Just a chicken thing I guess.
  5. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I have no idea if chickens can have a pica (a physical craving for odd things, like dirt, ice...) but maybe something is missing from thier diet? Do they get standard chicken feed? Might be something to think about anyway. Darlene
  6. Pulling frogs apart? Mine pull spiders apart leg by leg! ouch
    Maybe they miss their dirt to digest their food with.
    My ducks sniff out worms and bugs in the mud with their powerful sense of smell. I wonder if chickens also share this.
  7. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    I know that my ducks all time fav thing is to play in the mud after I dump thier kiddie pool out on cleaning day - and them playing brings on the chickens all mine love to play in the mud puddles they walk around with mud all over their face, feet and they can really get that mud flying when all of them are out there !!

    In the summer I let the hose run for awhile in the run and make a big puddle for them to play in - they love it.

  8. Quote:I do exactly the same but now I find the area stinks sooo bad when the mud is drying and Im in town and have neighbours so I have to be careful, they are nice ladies and I dont wish to subject them to the stink.
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    There are all kinds of things in dirt. Parrots in South America eat clay at the Manu clay lick every day. Do they need the minerals as a micro-nutrient in their bodies? Does it neutralize toxins in their food? We are only guessing at this point.

    How about this study, published in the journal Neuroscience? Bacteria found in soil worked as an antidepressant in humans and mice.

    , a part of healthy soil, protects plants from disease. I don't think they even know how, yet.

    Or is playing in the mud just big fun??? Children and dogs always seem to think so! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: