Lime and Chicken runs.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RHewitt, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. RHewitt

    RHewitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    My dad uses lime in his horse stalls and hog pens when they are not is use to neutralize bacteria and soil acidity. Is there any truth to this and could I use lime to freshen up my chicken runs?

    Can I put pelletized lime out in my yard while the chickens are free ranging? Would they eat it and could it hurt them?

    Need advise please.
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I'd like to know more about this too. My chicken pens are built around the edge of a paddock that is mostly chalky fill material and which used to support a fine growth of bermuda grass. In addition to the pens (which the chickens keep bare) I keep a few tractors in the paddock. I used to be able to move the tractors when the grass inside got brown & bare, and new green grass would grow back within a few weeks. But recently I noticed the grass was taking longer to re-grow, and some places stayed bare. Then last summer there was a period of heavy rain, the paddock flooded, and it's getting more bare with less grass growing.

    Our ground in South Florida is very alkaline, but I think the chemistry of the accumulated poop has finally overwhelmed it. Last week I spread pelletized lime around the bare paddock one evening after all the chickens were in their coops. I watered it in and the next day the chickens were back out on it. None of them seem to be adversely affected by it.

    Do you think this lime will help the grass to grow back? Will it also help kill any bad bird cooties in the soil?
  3. freddy22

    freddy22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2008
    Lime is a great addition to any chicken coop/ run / serves all these purposes....keep it in there to neutralize odors and to keep rocks in their gizzard which helps them to digest their food..... not to mention they love to use it for dust is a good idea although i dont know your complete situation
  4. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    Chickens may eat particles of Lime and it WILL hurt them. Always spread the Lime on the ground, then turn the soil with a shovel, Garden Tiller or any type tool you have. After the soil is turned, water the ground. Works for me to freshen old soil. I usually cover the areas with a wire hardware cloth screen that I made and sow whole oats in it. A few days and the oats start to grow. Then let the chickens on it. They love sprouted oats.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I've used it . . . not too familiar with it. I also live where it shouldn't really be needed in the soil because the soil is alkaline (fairly high pH).

    garden Lime . . . dolomitic limestone . . . not the other stuff

  6. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    Depends on the kind of lime. There are two versions:

    Slaked or Hydrated lime: this is a form of lime that is extremely caustic especially when wet. That's probably the form you're thinking of and it does make a good sanitizer for stalls not being used. You have to be careful using it in the runs because you can burn your skin with it, and harm your birds too - so you'll want to get instructions for how to use it safely. This is the type of lime that kills bacteria, and it is the type of lime used in pits where animal carcasses are buried, to prevent bacterial growth and the stench it releases. It's also used in whitewash you use on cellar foundations and buildings.

    Untreated limestone -- pelletized or powdered/pulverized. It's white (Sometimes you can get a gray colored form called "Dolomite" or "Dolomitic" limestone.) and the powdered or pulverized form is a fine powder. This is the "sweetening" lime often used in the garden to raise the pH. It doesn't kill bacteria, but it is useful for drying damp spots on cement barn floors, etc. and for preventing odors. It doesn't burn and is safe to use as is. I use it for that and to mix in with shavings to keep them dry and non-smelly. Also I throw pulverized-powdered it into my chickens' dustbath because it seems to work well for cleaning their skin and removing mites.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Hydrated lime is used to sweeten the soil - deoderize, kill bacteria, etc. Once it is spread you need to turn/till it under and let it sit through a good rain or watering. You need to keep the chickens off it until it has time to be watered in as it will burn their feet/skin that comes contacted with it raw on the soil.
  8. RHewitt

    RHewitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    My thanks to everyone for the information. Looks like Dad was right agian!

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