Which to Use: Peat Moss or Planting Mix ???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by iwiw60, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    Okay, so today I'm constructing the girl's dust bath box. It's approx. 3' x 4' and is made from some recycled 2x12's off my BIL's goose-neck trailer (he was replacing 2 of the boards and I snatched 'em up). So! I plan on using wood ash and either peat moss or planting mix...NO use of DE (don't like all the 'what-if's' involved).

    So the question is, which to use? Wouldn't peat moss be too 'chunky' in a way? I dunno.... [​IMG] All advice most appreciated!
     

  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Dirt or sand or a mixture of the two would be your best bet probably, not peat moss or planting mix. Planting mix in particular could be dangerous for multiple reasons. They generally have a warning on the bag for good reason. Also they contain fertilizers usually and chooks can and will spot and eat that... You don't want that. Artificial fertilizers can interfere with natural nutrition uptake. But perhaps you mean something other than the sort of planting mix I'm thinking of?

    I use normal dirt combined with ash, or DE, or both, and lime since I put lime down everywhere they walk to control parasite eggs, fungi, pathogen burden etc. Regarding the 'what-ifs' with DE, not sure what you mean there, but it does seem there's a lot of useless DE available, I've had a useless batch or two myself, but also useful batches.

    I used to use pool-filter grade DE until I ran out, so recommended that grade to others (as it was rough enough to work as it should, unlike some very soft DEs, and was not polluted or adulterated, unlike some DEs) but an American on this forum said "pool-filter DE contains lots of nasty chemicals" --- but the sort I bought didn't, it was pure DE with no additives. But I stopped suggesting that source of DE to people, you'd think they'd read the label but actually many of them don't, and it's also a good example of the vast differences between brands and countries. That's been a rather significant issue on all levels, whatever the topic, the difference between regions.

    When I say 'lime' many people think I mean burnt lime or something harmful, so I usually specify 'the same sort that's sold for adding to livestock's feeds' and even then some people aren't sure what type that is, even though it'll be on the label... So I did a search and in my state what is labeled as feed-additive lime is the same label used for the next state for dangerously caustic, non-feedstuff lime... Argh, the incessant vagaries, lol!

    Anyway, best wishes with your experimentation.
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    See, that's my main problem @chooks4life .. we don't have "dirt" here in Central Oregon where I live. It's what we fondly call "kitty litter". This whole area is part of ancient volcanic activity and it's useless. Do you think I can buy just plain old 'dirt' somewhere maybe??
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    You don't have dirt? :/

    Well, generally, around here at least --- I don't know what it's like where you live --- pet stores, livestock produce stores, landscaping places etc have soil you can buy of a wide variety of types.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

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    My light bulb just turned on! Takes a while with 70 year old brain matter!! I'll drive up to the big city and go to a nursery...should be able to get a couple of wheel barrows full...thanks!!
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

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    They also sell garden soil (Miracle Grow, etc.) in bags in lawn and garden centers such as Walmart, sand from Lowes and HomeDeopot. That's what I would use--sand, dirt, and wood ash. My flock choses their own places to dust bathe, LOL.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

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