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Safe ice melt?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chicknmania, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Is there any type of icemelt that is safe around chickens who are free ranging? We have been using cat litter, which doesn't work too well, turns into a muddy mess, it seems like, anyway. I am worried anything else we put down they might eat, and it would be toxic. I suppose I could use cracked corn to provide some traction on ice....They would eat that, too but at least it's edible. Any other ideas?
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Just use sand for traction. It will also melt ice, to some extent.
     
  3. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are having the same problem. Is salt dangerous to them?
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    bigmike&nan :

    We are having the same problem. Is salt dangerous to them?

    yes - because they are pretty small, it doesnt take too much salt for them to OD (toxic to kidneys etc, sick or dead chicken). I'd certainly avoid it anywhere chickens have access.

    If you have a clean (i.e no road salt on it) source of gravel, that works ok. Actually, for emergency use, WELL DAMPENED stall or coop cleanings, forked out across the ice so that they freeze onto it, do a pretyt good job. Of course they make a nasty soggy mess come the Spring melt so you have to catch the right little window of time to rake 'em away, but it can keep you from killin' yourself on bad ice.

    Pat​
     
  5. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Calcium Chloride can possibly be used. When it dissolves, it creates heat, thus if it's on ice, it should dissolve quickly, and the dissolved calcium is just fine. Unfortunately, if it doesn't, it could cause burns. So, I guess it's a gamble, and may or may not work, depending on how you use it.
     
  6. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    I did quiet a bit of research on this matter and the "pet safe" ones are not really safe. There is something called ecotraction but that does not melt the ice just makes it able to walk on and it is impossible to find. I use sand its the best I can do. I use it for the driveway and all walkways also since i grow organically. The sand will actually act like grit for the birds and is the most enviro. and chicken friendly one out there.
     
  7. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sand is a good solution. Chick grit would also provide excellent traction, if conditions get really icy! Completely chicken-compatible. [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:That is quite a clever idea, as long as the icy patch is small. Because it is very light-colored it won't melt thru the ice (and become useless) the way darker sand or gravel does. Well anyhow not as fast.

    <applause>

    [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We use play sand indoors in their dusting box and I've taken a scoop or two and used on ice in the run...has some food-grade DE in it too, so you get a bit of treatment for the run as well.
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I finally got some tube sand, the kind that you buy to add weight to the rear of a vehicle. Haven't put any down yet. Play sand is impossible to find here this time of year. Cracked corn actually worked well one winter....the wild birds ate it so it sorta served a dual purpose...but it does get kind of grimy so don't know how good it is for them, which is why we didn't use it this year. Chick grit is what I was gonna put down if I couldn't find regular sand...good idea.
     

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