is potting soil healthy for chickens' dust bathing?


11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
Los Angeles CA
i want to put a catt litter box with potting soil in my coop for my chickens to dust bathe but wasnt sure if potting soil would be good for them. does anybody know if i can?
I hope so since mine love to get into my flower pots and dust themselves. I had to barricade certain pots to save my plants! Mine also like to dust in the practically finished compost pile so I would think potting soil would be fine, especially compared to that!
it was recommended to me to use peat moss. it provides the chicks with essential bacteria and holds heat from the lamps. it works really well. be cautioned on one thing however, change it weekly! it can be very dusty as they break it down!
I would think that cat litter might dry them out severly if they ingest any. it is made of clay.
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Potting soil or potting soil mixed with sand should be fine....But I would not use the potting soil with the vermiculite in it....the vermiculite is the little white styrofoam-ish stuff.....I'd be worried they would start eating that. Cheapest is to just dig up a bit of soil that was not treated with pesticides....
Mine love peat moss. I've been thinking of adding a little DE to it when I find some local.

fldiver97 - I think you may have vermiculite confused with perlite. Perlite is the white stuff, which is actually a volcanic glass...hydrated obsidian. vermiculite is a clay mineral. I'd think either one could cause an impaction if injected in large enough quantities. Especially vermiculite since it has a capacity to swell when wet.

Just my 2 cents worth.....finally my horticulture major pays off!

Potting soil frequently has fertilizer, salts, vermiculite and/or perlite added to it. If your talking about organic potting soil then it is probably fine, but I would check the label carefully to see what's in it.
catstar68....thanks for the correction....I have always used organic potting soil but I have seen bags that have perlite/vermiculite added I guess - a neighbor uses those and it has little bits of stuff in it that is supposed to retain moisture....Have not tried it but can't imagine that it is beneficial for chickens and other birds if ingested...
My husband and I made a "sandbox" out of an old storage box; filled it with play sand from lowes. We just knew the chickens would love it....haven't gone near it. Oh well, anything for the "gals".

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