is potting soil healthy for chickens' dust bathing?

austinhart123

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
1,968
20
181
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?
 

homeschoolmama

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
143
1
119
Flagstaff, AZ
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!
 

mrandmrschicken

Songster
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
1,747
21
173
NW IA
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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fldiver97

Enabler
11 Years
Aug 5, 2009
6,520
33,657
1,182
Middleton, WI
My Coop
My Coop
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....
 

Catstar68

Songster
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
1,024
24
151
Franklinton, NC
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!
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Peace!
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
197
281
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.
 

fldiver97

Enabler
11 Years
Aug 5, 2009
6,520
33,657
1,182
Middleton, WI
My Coop
My Coop
Quote:
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...
 

juliawitt

Songster
10 Years
Aug 9, 2009
368
12
121
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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MANNA-PRO

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