Slag/Grit

Spotted Owl

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
10
0
22
NW Oregon
How do chickens do with slag from a steel mill. That is what we use for gravel here, driveways, barn floor, whatever you would use gravel we have slag. Will it hurt them if they use the slag for grit? Does the steel have any effect on anything that we should be aware of or keep an eye out for? It will be a couple weeks before they are out in it so I am looking to collect some info/insite about it sooner than when needed. The search didn't do anything for this. I'm sure they will have plenty of natural grit to use from the garden, flower beds and pastures, but the bulk of what they will see is this slag.

Thanks for any thoughts.


Owl
 

Teach97

Bantam Addict
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
5,603
17
241
Hooker, OK
Wouldn't think it would be good...way sharp and gotta leave marks going down! There is someone around that has a chicken that lives in the shop and eats all sorts of junk metal and is as fit as they come so...
hu.gif
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
29,487
27,183
997
Southeast Louisiana
Slag from a steel mill is not steel or iron. It is the other rocks that is left after the steel is processed out. Yeah, there probably is some iron still in it, but it is mostly other rock that has been melted, but a lot of rock naturally has some iron in it. I would not expect it to hurt them at all. Sand particles and small rocks they use in their gizzard can be pretty sharp going in, but they get ground smooth real fast in the gizzard. If the slag contained any harmful chemical, I would not think they would be allowed to use it for road gravel.
 

Teach97

Bantam Addict
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
5,603
17
241
Hooker, OK
good point about the slag...I was thinking slag as welding slag...not the same thing...my bad
he.gif


But isn't it fairly well melted and such and comes out sort of glass-ish? Never been around it just wondering...
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
29,487
27,183
997
Southeast Louisiana
Quote:
It has been melted and may come out glassy. Depends on what other elements were in with the iron ore. Glass is basically melted sand. But ignaceous rock has been melted too. I really would not worry about it being sharp. The gizzard will take care of that. By the time it leaves the gizzard, it will be sand.

Welding slag is not iron either. It is what is left of the chemicals and materials the welding rod is coated with to burn and insulate the rod during welding.
 

SewingDiva

Songster
12 Years
Aug 31, 2007
700
10
151
Westwood MA, South of Boston
Quote:
This material sounds a lot like what we call "stone dust" in New England, which is granulated rock chips ( 1-3 MM in size); its a by-product at stone quarries. Folks here also use it on driveways and such. We use as pathway material between our garden beds. Our chickens love to fill their gizzards with it and frankly it looks just like the grit I buy!

Phyllis
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
31,520
35,452
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I give my birds granite grit. It is also used for pigeons and some feed stores sell it as pigeon grit.
 

Spotted Owl

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
10
0
22
NW Oregon
Quote:
Thats exactly what this is. I don't see any nasty chemicals in this stuff, they use it for wetland damage repair and that stuff. Besides our local activists would stop it cold should there be any remote possiblity of any negative environmental impact.

Just wanted to make sure mostly that I wouldn't be causing any physical harm to the chickens. The slag doesn't seem to bother any of our other animals but they don't eat it either.

Thanks.


Owl
 

Dalhart

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 6, 2011
13
0
24
I searched for this topic.. so glad I found that others had used Slag from a steel mill.. w/o a problem. This was my question also. Ha this topic was from 2009.
 
Jun 1, 2022
1
0
1
SLAG! It's very safe for chickens or any other fowl/birds.
I was born in 1962 and lived in Birmingham Alabama which was known as the Pittsburgh of the south, a major steel producer. My great grandfather raised chickens for eggs and eating, he also raise ducks, geese, Guinea, turkeys and some guail. Being near the steel mills slag was his go to for driveway, barn and shed flooring material. He also used it for pathways from the house to each out building oh yes even the outhouse, I was sixteen and we still used the outhouse. Lol.

He chose the slag over sand, chert and gravel, not only it was cheaper but he said the chickens prefers it.


When I was very young up til the age of 10-11 my granddaddy had his driveway surfaced with slag, he also kept a large pile for fill ins, that pile was better than any sand, dirt or gravel pile. When slag got wet it would set up like concrete but remained digable and would flake away easily.
I could use a spoon or even my fingers to dig out caves, tunnels, foxholes, moats and roads for my plastic army men, I could/would play there for hours. Oh the best was when I got DAISY BB GUN. I would set up a fortress on and in the slag pile then set on a rock wall about 10-15 feet away and shoot the army men. Fun, fun for hours!

Anyways if you can get slag for your chickens do so.
My great grandfather said it helped with digestion and the hens produced more and larger eggs...

SLAAAAAG, ITS FOR CHICKENS!
 

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