Top Soil for Dust Bath and Growing Grass?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by colmcmanus, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. colmcmanus

    colmcmanus In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2013
    Hi - I'm in the Northeast and on the tail end of what's been a brutal winter. I want to grow some grass indoors for my birds as well as provide them with some dirt to bathe in. I have planted grass in the past with some dirt I had from outside (everything now is frozen and covered with lots of snow) and topped it off with some organic potting soil. I noticed the birds did eat some of the fertilizer in the potting soil. Not thinking that was great for them, I removed the planter from their coop. What else could I use to grow more grass for them to munch on during the winter months and to dust bathe in (when some of the grass was eaten, a couple of them climbed in and started bathing! Too cute.) I wasn't sure what top soil really is and if that would be harmful to them. Or maybe the organic potting soil poses not threat to their health. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    Sprout some wheat or barley grass for them. No soil needed.
  3. Old 76 Farm

    Old 76 Farm In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2014
    Central NY Country
    I would think that organic top soil or potting soil would be fine for them to bathe in. Just without anything added to it. I'm in the NE also & have been thinking of doing the same thing. My hens have managed to keep one little dust spot going out in their covered run, but it has very little loose dirt in it as the ground is so frozen. I throw some DE into it about once a week but the spot is almost down to nothing. Next winter I'm going to be better prepared & save some dirt in my big planter.
  4. Nupe

    Nupe Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
    Any combination of peat moss, playground sand, fireplace ash, or just dry dirt from your yard work fine as a dust bath.

    As far as growing grass, do some research on "fodder". You can get most grains to sprout and grow a few inches by soaking and rinsing for a few days. Wheat and barley are very nutritious when sprouted and fairly cheap.

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