fireplace ashes as a dust bath?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RichnSteph, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Songster

    Mar 25, 2014
    Adkins Texas
    Is it ok to put the ashes out of our fireplace in the chicken run for them to dust bathe in? I'll make sure all the little hot bits are well and truly out before letting the birds in it.

  2. nikicolorado

    nikicolorado In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2014
    Wood ash is very high in alkaline - some gardeners use it to balance acidity in soil, but only very sparingly. Traditionally wood ash is also used in tanning hides, so I would avoid allowing your birds to bathe in it and breathe it in. I would be afraid of causing damage to their sensitive respiratory systems. I put my wood ash in the compost pile.
  3. hennible

    hennible Crowing

    My chickens love there tire filled with play sand... Cost $16 for the sand, the old tire was free.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Wood ash makes a good additive to their dust baths. The alkaline in it helps control external parasites as well as keeping the feathers clean. They also will ingest some of the charcoal. Always a good idea to make sure the ashes aren't hot. You don't want to see a flaming chicken running around.
  5. I have been using wood ash since last winter and they seem to love it. They yet one more time know how to take care of themselves and their needs. Sometimes the dust bathe in the ash and sometimes in a hole they have scratched in the ground.

    It is funny to see them in the ash rolling around and flipping the ash up on themselves. Then they stand up and run across the field leaving a trail of ash/smoke behind them like thay are some sort of jet powered hens.
  6. nikicolorado

    nikicolorado In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2014
    thank you for your responses! yay! i've read so much about respiratory illness risks, it is a relief to know that bathing in ash is good for them!
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    I think part of what makes ash so attractive is its particle size. When my birds take advantage of it they always dig down into soil as well.
  8. dmjcfair

    dmjcfair Hatching

    Jun 24, 2015
    Roy, WA
    Im new to chickens, Ive been reading about "ash baths", so I got in the fireplace and got some ashes and put it a flour sifter to make it finer and get chunks out. Ok heres the real question, my chicks are 4 days old, I gave them an ash bath is it too soon? Im so worried about mites and fleas. I freak out if my dog has a flea, I cant imagine what ill do with my new family members.
    Thanks for any help.
  9. If they are only 4 days old I would not worry too much at this point. Make sure their brooder is kept clean. If they are brooding with a hen she will take care of teaching them what they need and you can just sit back and enjoy it all. Put your ash bath in their run area for them to use as they see fit.

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