Treating Icy Walkways with Free-range hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Siler, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Siler

    Siler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    How would I be able to prevent icy walkways when my hens free-range? I don't remember doing anything last year. We usually shovel as it's falling so it doesn't compact and become ice, but this year it's colder and it's icing up plus we have the snow melting off the roof and right onto our doorstep thanks to a broken gutter. I would think they'd eat the salt. We started buying the pet safe variety after getting our first dog 3 years ago, but I would think that even that would be harmful to hens.

    Untreated kitty litter? Sand? Gravel? Any other ideas? We haven't tried anything yet.
     
  2. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    We have a ramp rather than front steps on our house, and I use sand. I keep a couple of bags of playground sand on the porch during the winter. It won't melt anything, but does make it gritty so I don't slide down the ramp quite as fast, and I just sweep it off when the ice/snow melt.

    Edited to add: you can also use builder's sand that you buy at Lowe's or places like that. It's a little larger grit. I've used both. Neither will hurt the chickens. I hope you're worrying about icy walkways in terms of your own safety; the chickens don't care!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  3. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Sorry but I have to say this: I find that using free-range hens to treat icy walkways makes them rather lumpy. [​IMG] I prefer scraping down as best I can and sanding.
     
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    A light layer of sand before a heavy freeze makes it much easier to scrape or shovel when you get the time. it's cheap, easy, and won't harm the birds, easy peezy.

    AL
     
  5. Frannabelle

    Frannabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2009
    MI
    [​IMG]
    Quote:
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    Woodmort, you are so funny!

    We toss some sand around, if we need it, too. With our heavy clay here, having it eventually end up in a flower bed or the lawn is a good thing. Unlike salt.

    I have an ice chopper, too. When you get those really warm winter days where the ice softens, it makes quick work of it. I actually like doing that. It makes me thing spring is coming, even when it's not coming any time soon. [​IMG]
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:I thought exactly the same thing. Syntax is everything, sometimes.

    But the same all pupose, construction sand I use foe grit and dust bath boxes would be perfect. Plus, the chickens can utilize that sand later for their grit. Which I think I just mentioned....
     
  8. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oxford NY
    Quote:My DW. "Yeah, you ought to be married to him." I guess it is my editor eye, I can spot stuff like that, especially if I don't write it. Local TV reporters are the worst.
     
  9. Siler

    Siler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    I don't see what's so funny about my post. My hens are free to roam as they wish wherever they wish. If I put down salt and they eat it then they die or become seriously ill. My walkways can be very icy in the winter. I don't want to slip and fall on my a$$, but I don't want to risk harming the hens.
     
  10. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Siler, they meant no harm. We tend to be a little silly here in BYC land, and get our humor when and where we can. [​IMG]

    And sand is an excellent suggestion; it's what I use, too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

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