Wood ash for dust bath

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by monkeybirdfarms, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. monkeybirdfarms

    monkeybirdfarms Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Sep 5, 2013
    We have a wood burning fire place that we use to help take some of the load off our main heater. Needless to say we have a ton of wood ash. I started putting them, mixed with a lil de, in the coop for the birds to bathe in. (Needless to say they are cool before I put them in. ) Recently I started running the ashes thru a fine sifter to make them pretty much into the concisity of a fine baby powder. I was wondering if anyone else does that or is is completely unnecessary. Also wondering if I should skip the DE and just go with the ashes alone
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Wood ash makes a great addition to a dust bath; it seems to help control lice/mites. I personall don't care for DE as it does little to control them, and is very irritating to respiratory tracts, both theirs and yours.
     
  3. monkeybirdfarms

    monkeybirdfarms Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Sep 5, 2013
    Flockwarcher, I heard/noticed that myself, that's why I was asking about it without the DE.
    I bought a breeding pair of splash silkies at a Poltry swap last month. They were a young kids 4 H project. Beautiful birds, but thru my own ignorance I neglected to see they had mites. Not a total infestation but they are deff there. Luckily I did quarentee them, my main flock was not exposed. After a couple baths in dawn, in between a few days of drying/relaxing time in a boarder in my spare bedroom I think the silkies are ready to be slowly/safely introduced to their perminate home with my main flock.
    I have daily checked all 18 birds in my main flick and have seen zero mites. That being said I still did a couple rounds of woodash rub downs on all my birds and did a complete break down / disinfect of the coop. Everything has been disinfected and new bedding everywhere. I used a small layer of sweet pdz under a fresh thick layer of pine shavings. I think I'm in good shape but wanna be sure before I bring them all together. anyone have anymore suggestions before I bring them all together?
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,530
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've never used DE for anything.

    We rely solely on wood heat. My girls love dusting in the ashes! I think it may be why I've never once had a parasite issue. Well, that and lots of space. I firmly believe overcrowded birds are more susceptible to parasites and diseases.

    Anyway, I just clean out the stove, ashes in a bucket. Bucket goes on the porch until they're cool, then in a large plastic trash can. When the trash can is half full or so, out to the coop.

    2 caveats---be sure the cats don't use the ash as a litter box. The seem to love it. Not sure the chickens would mind, but [​IMG]
    and---be sure ashes are totally cooled before putting in plastic trash can. I have a can with a foot wide hole melted in it from hot ashes being dumped in it. Sure wish I could blame that one on the kids [​IMG]
     
  5. monkeybirdfarms

    monkeybirdfarms Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Sep 5, 2013
    Donra, don't feel too bad about it. I think we have all made the mistake of putting what we thought were cool ashes in the big plastic container only to find out there was still a hot one or two in the mix. I use one of the dw big ole metal stew pots for ashes from the fireplace. They stay outside for a day or two just to make sure they are cool. Then they go in the big plastic container ( 50 gallon trash can) with a lid. I did make the mistake of not putting the lid on it a few times The barn cats LOVE to do their business in it. Their little ash covered feet and bottom sides are quick reminders of my mistake lol
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    454
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    I'm with the crowd that doesn't use DE for anything at all. I'm lucky enough to live near a very well respected Avian vet, who has told me that DE is probably more harmful to birds than the parasites people are trying to get rid of. And since I saw a slug and a mealworm crawl right through a dish of DE in entomology lab, I've not believed the hype about how good it is at killing the parasites in the first place.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. klcabe

    klcabe Out Of The Brooder

    55
    1
    48
    Mar 21, 2012
    Canton, NC
    Last year, when my birds were free range, they actually found and made theirs, the old ash 'pit' from when there used to be an old farm house here. They would dump their fireplace ashes in this one spot, apparently, and my chickens LOVED digging it up and bathing in it!
     
  8. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    5,644
    368
    303
    Jan 14, 2008
    Ashes make a great dust bath. Save some money-they'll be just as good w/o the DE.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by