Question about dirt bathing????? Please answer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by brandibaby23, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. brandibaby23

    brandibaby23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2009
    New Paris, Pa 15554
    Could you use vermaculite for peeps to dirt bath in? Cuz I know they might eat some of it, so I wondered if it would hurt them?
  2. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2010
    I would not use vermiculite, there are several things found in vermiculite which have been shown to cause lung issues in humans, asbestos may be one of them. I would stick to something more benign.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I read recently on BYC that someone used some ashes from their woodstove, dirt, sand, and DE to make a nice dirt bath. Been meaning to try it myself someday.

    [​IMG] Ha! I didn't mean ME- MYSELF- to take a dirt bath (edited to add this).
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  4. brandibaby23

    brandibaby23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2009
    New Paris, Pa 15554
    Now I did just read that the gardening variety is safe and non-toxic to humans. It doesn't mold and is sterlie??? I am glad I have you guys to ask.

    I have a few 2 and 3 week old peeps and wanted to put something in there to "bath" with for them give them something to do. My ground is too frozen to get dirt, and I don't have sand, and I have a coal furnace so those ashes wouldn't be good. anything else?
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  5. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    DE (Diatomaceous Earth) is the best thing to use if you're going to buy a product. Instead of me trying to explain all about it ... it's so easy to Google.
    I don't know how the price compares to vermiculite, but there's no comparison in value.
  6. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    How about cornmeal?
  7. UrbanGrower

    UrbanGrower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2010
    West Jordan, UT
    Garden vermiculite will say asbestos free if it is but it's not cheap, and I don't think it would really work for a dust bath. Maybe buy a few sandbags?
  8. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    One of my girls dug a bare spot in the grass and the rest of the flock came over and helped her - they ended up with a nice-sized area for dirt-bathing. I think they will make their own spot if nothing is readily available, but if you have sand or soil from a clean wooded area, that's good.
  9. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    Garden vermiculite is SUPER expensive as Urbangrower said, and chickens will shake/kick/scratch whatever you use for their dirt bath EVERYWHERE which means you will need to replace it often.

    I recently got busted for my urban chickens and had to temporarily move them to a friends house in the country but now they have about 1/4 acre run in a large area where they can pick their own dust bath places. They seem to favor spots with dry/sandy soil and all hang out together in a communal bath hole.

    When I had them in a small run on my tiny city lot, I used a large,rubber horse feeder bucket for their dust bath and filled it with a combination of woodash, DE, pineshavings, and old dry potting mix- they loved it- but as I said, it needed refilling often since they fill up their feathers with it- then walk around and shake it all out.
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    You can pick up a bag of sand at places like Home Depot, Lowes or that type of store.. Sometimes garden stores have it, too. For chicks, it can even be helpful as chick grit, as well as for dust bathing. I've seen chicks even try to dust bath in shavings. My chickens also like to dust bathe in peat moss. Unfortunately, it's usually been in a flower pot or a flower bed at the time. [​IMG]

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