I have used Hydrated Lime in my pens forever-learned it from my Grandfather who always used it.
When I clean a pen I sprinkle a layer of the lime first & add the bedding [straw &/or shavings] then put the birds i the pen. The Lime absorbs moisture & odors.
I'm approaching my 50th year of poultry keeping & I have hed no problems with using Hydrated Lime. I think this concern, like so many put forward here, are based on having read it not having experienced. Like any internet bulletin board site this one is not edited. People can & do post all kinds of advice some good, some bad.
If you are putting a good layer of bedding over a thin layer of hydrated lime, it is unlikely to cause problems.
I think this concern, like so many put forward here, are based on having read it not having experienced.
I knew someone who experienced it *real good* -- he ended up hospitalized because of accidentally breaking open a sack of hydrated lime and getting a faceful (eyes and lungs) of the dust.
Actually, any of you who have ever done concrete work and discovered that the dry dust is pretty irritating to eyes and skin and lungs -- well, what do you think that is? It is a small amount of hydrated lime, that's what the cement part of concrete *is*. You wouldn't want your chickens walking around directly on raw portland cement dust or concrete mix, you don't want them walking/feeding/pecking around directly on unmixed fresh hydrated lime either.
Hydrated lime mixed into soil, or let to sit for a while, or in small enough amounts thinly spread over a surface, is not a problem at all.
A thick white coating of hydrated lime freshly laid with animals walking around on it, getting it on mucous membranes and inhaling it, IS a problem. THAT is what people are warning against doing.
I followed the link to the other topic and I learned something new. I never understood the difference either. I've only used the ag lime and asked for it as such because someone told me to, as I use it on the garden. But I remember my great-grandmother telling me a story about her sister sitting on a pail of lime in the outhouse and burning her butt and I never understood how come it burnt her. Now I know! Thanks.