I read this post and thought it sounded like a great idea – basically empty out the fireplace and put the ash somewhere for the chickens to scruff in – (http://untrainedhousewife.com/wood-ash-for-mite-free-hens). The recipe mixed in sand with the ash but I didn’t have any so simply used the wood ash. I had a pick through as I emptied the fireplace to make sure there wasn’t anything harmful in it like nails. I put some of the ash under their coop veranda where they currently bathe in the dry dirt. The bulk I put in a large shallow tub. My idea was that they would dust bath in this and I could move it out of the way if it was raining and keep it dry for them. Being nosey they came to investigate and being impatient I picked Janis up and put her in the tub. She absolutely freaked out and I haven’t seen them near it since. Meanwhile it rained, I didn’t move it under cover and it set with a hard crust which I assumed would be even less appealing to them. Fortunately the coop is in the orchard so I threw it in handfuls under the fruit trees where it will be just as useful.
Mite free? There is still ash some under the veranda but since I’ve also got pine needles under there and they didn’t have mites before hand it’s hard to tell if it was a success or not. At least it didn’t harm them.