Traction sand dangerous?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dana, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Dana

    Dana In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I built a covered area in my chickens' pen so that they'd have some bare ground during the winter, and Last year I put down some traction sand to give them a dust bathing area since the ground freezes hard.

    I picked up another bag of traction sand this winter, but I noticed that it says this on the bag: "Warning. Avoid breathing dust. Contains crystalline silica." I don't know if the sand I used last year had this warning, if it did I didn't notice it. It doesn't sound like this sand would be good for them to dust bathe in, since there's a warning not to breath it. Does anyone know if this sand has added stuff that might make it dangerous?
  2. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    What is crystalline silica (quartz)?

    The terms "crystalline silica" and "quartz" refer to the same thing. Crystalline silica is a natural constituent of the earth's crust and is a basic component of sand and granite.
    What is silicosis?

    Silicosis is a disease of the lungs due to breathing of dust containing crystalline silica particles. This dust can cause fibrosis or scar tissue formations in the lungs that reduce the lung's ability to work to extract oxygen from the air. There is no cure for this disease, thus, prevention is the only answer. OSHA

    This is much more common than you would have known. Many things give off this dust even if you are using a grinder, cutting tiles, or concrete. If the sand has been wet it should be fine. Not sure if the warning is on playground sand but it also contains it. I use medium grit red sand for the birds to play in but if you are concerned dirt is fine. But if your birds are white they will be look dirty all the time.​
  3. We raise our chickens and other animals on sandy loam, so silica is part of daily life for us, wet or dry. You feed silica to your birds in grit. I use play sand or traction sand in a dusting box for the hens- just be sure you get the kind that has no salt in it. When something is sold for human use it is mandatory to notify the amount of silica even if it is not a consumable product. If you go to the beach on a dry day...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  4. Dana

    Dana In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for the replies, I guess I'll go ahead and put it down for them. I was just concerned that something might have been added to it for better traction or something, but if it's just sand then I'm not worried.
  5. silica=sand [​IMG]
  6. I guess this isn't something in the grit that would be bad for us eating the eggs?
  7. And, while we are talking grit, what do you use for your "grit pan?" My daughter got ahold of several of the small tot wading pools, and I was thinking about one of those for fast and cheap, until I can see what some of you other veterans are using?[​IMG]
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote:Lowe's has "mortar mixing pans" for about $5-6.

    They are plastic pans about 2 ftl long, 16 inches wide, and 3-4 inches deep. They also make good feed pans, or dustbaths
  9. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I use kitty litter pans for dust bathing pans. Works wonderful!

    I also use play sand for the chickens to dust bath in.
  10. Great ideas, Thanks!! Do you keep the grit out year round, or just in the winter where they may not have as much access to gravel and the like? [​IMG]

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