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Why are my ducks eating ash from my burn pile and BBQ grill?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mrs. BJ Hensley Jr., Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Mrs. BJ Hensley Jr.

    Mrs. BJ Hensley Jr. Songster

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have 11 free range ducks and of those 9 (for sure) eat the ash from my burn pile. I try to keep them out because the broken glass in there, but I am just wondering why they are trying to eat it in the first place. I also have a Charcoal tray which holds ash from my bbq grill and they eat that too. are they vitamin deficient?

  2. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    When I had cows, they ate ashes like a tasty treat. My horses will lick ashes, but not like the cows did. Ashes contain all the minerals of the wood that was burned-in a concentrated form. My guess is the ducks are getting the minerals they need from the ashes. Perhaps you need to make the same rule I had: Don't throw anything in the burn pile that would be bad for the cows to eat.
  3. cracking up

    cracking up Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    I'd like to know too. Every once in a while one of our runners gets in the ashes from the fire pit and goes nuts. Once she gets her fill she's good for a long time.
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

  5. Snipes

    Snipes Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Haha, when I read the title of this thread I thought to myself, "why wouldn't they eat it?". In the words and inflection of my brother, they eat EVERYTHING!
    Maybe you could have a special burn for them and filter it in occasionally? I wouldn't know if in getting trace minerals they would get an excess of other things that should not build up.
  6. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I thought my ducks were just strange!

    They love to muck around in my fire pit. Usually starts with just one, and then the others all run over there. I have to make very certain after a fire, that I water it down until it is ash soup so none of them get burned by any hot spots/coals the next morning.

    I never considered that they may be mineral deficient. I just thought they were being their curious mischievous selves. They get into everything- you should see what they did to a small wooden table I have outside, that had old wood for a top. They shredded it. Now the top looks like saw dust and splinters. My husband said they were probably looking for bugs in the wood. I thought they were doing the same thing in the fire pit. Just being nosy, lol.

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