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Author Topic: Dust bath  (Read 536 times)

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Dust bath
« on: January 07, 2017, 10:43:17 pm »
Can I put wood ash from the log burner into chicken runs for a dust baths?

Would it need to be mixed with anything else?

Thanks
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 12:24:49 pm by in the hills »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 12:53:58 am »
Wood ash is brilliant for a dust bath.  We dig a shallow hole for ours, with soil underneath, but it doesn't need anything added really.  The ash does seem to deter parasites although I have no research-based proof.  The hens love it.   I'm hoping that, as the hens are currently in our veg polytunnel, whenever they shake, the ash clouds will reach obscure corners where the red mites which have been infesting our veg hide, and suffocate them  :yippee: .  I don't know if the ash affects the hens lungs, but I can't see why it would any more than dust.  Don't use coal ash though.
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Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 09:01:38 am »
We use wood ash for the soil baths, but only at about 10% as we worry about respiratory problems. We bought in two Orpingtons with respiratory irritation from dust- saw it around their nostrils. Two years on and they haven't got over it.


It is good for lice and for removing red mite that haven't got off their host and gone into the coop. Like Fleecewife, I think the very fine dust of potash suffocates the bugs somehow.



Coal ash mustn't be used on account of the Sulphur content mixed with damp creating Sulphuric Acid.

Celli

  • Joined Jun 2016
  • Fife
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 12:38:57 pm »
What a good idea, never thought of that, I have buckets of wood ash.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Dust bat
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 01:00:59 pm »
What a good idea, never thought of that, I have buckets of wood ash.
Me too, and I feel so stupid because i knew!
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 11:00:51 am »
Thanks all.

I use it outside in the dust baths that they create under the conifers but mix it with the dry soil, as you say Chrismahon. Was worried that it might cause problems used neat.

Wonder if I could use play sand?

They're missing their dust baths. Poor things  :(

madchickenlady

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Old Newton Suffolk
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 04:01:25 pm »
Re play sand, this compacts really badly when it gets wet, most people I know use construction sand as it contains grit and doesn't compact. Also the hens get all the grit they need at the same time - win win!
Heather

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 05:09:40 pm »
 Make sure however that there is plenty of dry loose soil to mix with the ash as pure wood ash is caustic. When mixed with water it forms potassium hydroxide, which is similar to caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) and will burn or at least irritate the skin.
life's too short to be boring.

Celli

  • Joined Jun 2016
  • Fife
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 09:49:37 am »
Re play sand, this compacts really badly when it gets wet, most people I know use construction sand as it contains grit and doesn't compact. Also the hens get all the grit they need at the same time - win win!

Builders sand also contains high levels of salt and other contaminants , it's why you can't use it as a substitute for horticultural sand.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2017, 11:11:31 am »
Ahhh, that's what I was a bit concerned about Landroverroy.

No loose soil in their run now to mix it with.

Will have to have a think about which sand to use.

Much easier when they're out sorting it out for themselves. ::)

Celli

  • Joined Jun 2016
  • Fife
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2017, 01:09:36 pm »


Will have to have a think about which sand to use.

Much easier when they're out sorting it out for themselves. ::)

Not sure if it's the sort of thing your looking for but I use coconut fibre for both in the coop and to aerate the rather clay soil in the middle of my hens run.
Just bought some from Amazon £7.99 for a compressed 5kg block which floofs up to 70lt, I haven't used this particular brand before, normally I have to leave it out for a few days as it's slightly damp straight out of the bag, but from reviews this one seems to be dyhydrated so I'm hoping it can go straight in the coop.
I've used hemp bedding for years but I much prefer the coconut fibre, so much easier for daily poo picking and I can put it straight on the garden when it's needing changed.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2017, 03:26:17 pm »
What about mixing the wood ash with sawdust

Piggerswiggers

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 06:29:24 am »
Hi Celli
Do you mean the stuff that they use for reptiles? I'm thinking that would break down in my compost very quickly. Is there a downside?

penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Dust bat
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 11:32:07 am »
Perhaps you could amend your heading ITH, I was wondering what you were doing to your poor little chooks  ;D,
good post anyway, very useful  :thumbsup:

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Dust bath
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 12:29:35 pm »
There you go Penninehillbilly. But preferred the 'dust bat' myself. ;D

Not sure that the coconut fibre would work in the dust bath but maybe an option for the runs. Is it poisonous to dogs? Our lab will eat anything so have to be careful.

 

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