Peat moss added to litter?


10 Years
May 15, 2009
I was reading a 40 year old poultry book last night and it said that to decrease ammonia (I don't have this problem) smells and to jump start the compost process to create heat in the winter that one should add peat moss to the chicken litter. If I did try this I would bury 1/2 inch of peat moss under the litter and not mix the litter for a while because of the dust it would create. I would mix the litter at a later time after it started getting moist.

Has anyone ever tried this or would you try this? Any input from my chicken friends is always welcome.
I used peat moss alone as bedding for my first batch of chicks on a tip from the hatchery I ordered from. It worked very well except for the dust level in my house which was both peat moss dust and chick dust. Chicks thrived on it and dust bathed in it and ate it. It is perfectly safe.

I say go ahead and try it.
I too brooded my first 10 chicks in it based on advice of the feed store. Bought a HUGE thing of it. I too started my first chicks in the house. It was great until they started scratching and I ended up with a fine black layer of dust all over the house.

I then moved them out to the sunroom. Added shavings to cut down on the dust.

All future chicks got raised on wood pellets.

Back to the HUGE thing of Alaskian peat moss. I use it for transplanting plants outside and inside. And I layer it in a dust bath tire I have in the run with sand, DE, and/or stall dry depending on what I have on hand.

I layer white shavings, wood pellets, and DE or stall dry in my coop for my deep litter method and love it.
Thanks Emys and Sweetcheeks. Today I will go out and add some peat moss to the litter. We've had a few wet days here and the coop is humid. I have the expectation that the pete will soak up the moisture along with the wood shavings and start composting. Might even get some heat from it.

I never thought of starting chicks on it but it makes sense. I learned from an old farmer that when I receive my baby chicks and put them in their brooder to always pull a clump of dirt (4 inches X 4 inches) from my lawn and put it in the brooder. The chicks climb on it, scratch through it and eat small bit of 'stuff'. I've never had a case of pasty but and I attribute it to the dirt.

Make sure the clump comes from an untreated (pestisides/fertilizer) part of the lawn and give chicks chick grit sprinkled on their crumbles for at least 2 days before introducing the grass. I make sure the chick grit is on their food from day 1. It's a red color and everyone gets some.

I'll let you know how the deep litter with peat turns out.
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The wood pellets are far better at soaking up moisture and then they turn to saw dusty stuff that the birds like to dust bath in.

I would recommend adding the wood pellets in with the mix too. AND they smell good.
When you talk about wood pellets, do you mean the same thing that is burned in pellet stoves?

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