is potting soil healthy for chickens' dust bathing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by austinhart123, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Songster

    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?

  2. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    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!
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Its probably ok, but a play sand would be better I think.
  4. mrandmrschicken

    mrandmrschicken Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  5. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    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....

  6. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    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! [​IMG]

    1 person likes this.
  7. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    err...ingested. sorry. I would inject it either:p
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    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.
  9. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    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...

  10. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    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".[​IMG]

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