Is potting/garden soil safe for chickens to dust bath in?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by flockoffour, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. flockoffour

    flockoffour Chirping

    Jun 28, 2012
    West Coast
    I have potting soil left over from the garden last season, and I was wondering if it would be safe to use in a dust batn for my chickens? And that the minerals and what not is harmful in any way.

  2. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Songster

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    Some kinds like Miracle Grow and some of the others also, have fertilizer in them. Some have little green or white time release fertilizer. I don't think the fertilizer would be good for them if they ate it. Also some have little pieces of perlite (white styrofoam lookings bits) which I don't think would really be good for them either.
    That being said, I know my chooks probably get into my potted plants and eat what they want out of them when they are free ranging in the yard.
    You could give them some sand to take baths in.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Get them a big bag of peat moss. It's good and dusty, and perfect for dirt baths and has nothing else added to it. I usually fill a small tub with peat moss and place it in the brooder for baby chicks to learn to dirt bathe.

    Sand is also a good dirt bath medium.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It will be fine.

    As far as miracle grow--I've had to call poison control when a patient in the nursing home ingested some. Her husband had brought in a smallish bright yellow bottle he thought was lemon juice and put it on her fish---which we served a LOT--- and by the time the staff realized what had happened over half the bottle was gone! I called poison controll and the man there said they get calls with toddlers eating the stuff all the time and it's non toxic.

    Yeah, they might pick out some perlite, but it can't be worse than styrafoam and my flock would willingly eat that stuff by the block. Not saying it's good for them, but it's never caused them ill.
  5. flockoffour

    flockoffour Chirping

    Jun 28, 2012
    West Coast
    Thanks for the info, everyone, I think I will probably try peat moss.

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