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Why do my chicks, & chickens in general, like to dig and lie in dirt??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Why do my chicks, & chickens in general, like to dig and lie in dirt??
My chicks like to dig and take dirt baths and lie in the dirt.  They're about 6 weeks old now.  (And it's not like it's super hot, it's only about 85 degrees lately)  So today, they found the dirt and started to kick up dirt and lie in it and bathe in it.  After a while, I was able to just scoop them up and they wouldnt kick or flap their wings.  They looked dazed, or dare I say it, stoned tongue.  My pair of chickens before would do the same thing but they wouldnt act like that afterward.  SO is this normal?? lol

post #2 of 9

This is VERY normal.  Its almost like they're sunbathing!!  I love it!!  Mine do it too and I have a chair in my run and I sit there daily watching them. 

Relax and enjoy them!

Laurie

Bantam Wyandottes
Muscovy Ducks
Sebastopol Geese
Guineas
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Bantam Wyandottes
Muscovy Ducks
Sebastopol Geese
Guineas
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

but it's not in the sun, its in the shade ....

post #4 of 9

My chickens love to take a bath in my plants so I got a tub and put last years soil in it with some ashes from my wood stove and a little DE ( for bugs ) and mixed it up. Boy were they in heaven (like you said it's like they are stoned) Our winters are long so I am going to make sure there is a tub in the coop all winter.

Living in North Pole, Alaska with 1 great husband, 4 good kids, 11 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 Green Winged Macaws, 1 cory, 1 glass eel, and about 40 Buff Orpingtons and hatching lots more and 16 D'Uccles. Recently added 70 more chickens. Now there are three Coops to clean!
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Living in North Pole, Alaska with 1 great husband, 4 good kids, 11 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 Green Winged Macaws, 1 cory, 1 glass eel, and about 40 Buff Orpingtons and hatching lots more and 16 D'Uccles. Recently added 70 more chickens. Now there are three Coops to clean!
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yay, I'm so glad I'm not the only one that thinks that theyre a little out there (stoned) when they bathe in dirt.  But why?  I'm sorry, it just puzzles me so much..

post #6 of 9

Because they are cleaning themselves by passing the dirt through their feathers and that makes them feel good.

If you watch small wild birds at this time of year they also like to dustbath,  They get layers of oil build up on the feathers and the dust is the best way to clean it off, so they just feel calm and relaxed and happy after they have had a good dustbath.

Imagine how you feel after a long pampering soak in a luxury bath, well it is the chicken version you are watching. lol...

Just enjoy watching them play.


Edited by Jena - 6/30/09 at 2:07am
The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
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The Welsh Witch, mother to one insane Border Collie, 2 Comets(Goldfish) and 4 Black Rock Beauties, and now 3 Copper Blue Marans and 2 White Splash Marans.  Ohhh and 2 sons (all grown up so I need something else to keep me busy).
Official Member of the Sir Opa/Sam (The Great Knight) Fan club..
www.LilacCottage.etsy.com
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post #7 of 9

Mine do it to get cool. They will dig down to the sand and lay there, sometimes upside down. My friend came over the other day and thought 2 of my girls were dead and they looked that way on their backs with their eyes closed. ep

Mom to 6 Black Sexlink hens, 4 Barred Rock hens, 2 Rhode Island Red hens, 2 EE hens, 1 White Leghorn hen, and 1 BIG Rhode Island Red roo, 5 Chihuahua's, 1 Belgian Shepard, 2 Rabbits, 1 FAT Cat, 1 turtle, 2 teenagers and 1 husband.
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Mom to 6 Black Sexlink hens, 4 Barred Rock hens, 2 Rhode Island Red hens, 2 EE hens, 1 White Leghorn hen, and 1 BIG Rhode Island Red roo, 5 Chihuahua's, 1 Belgian Shepard, 2 Rabbits, 1 FAT Cat, 1 turtle, 2 teenagers and 1 husband.
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Lol, Thats cute!!  My pair of chicks get so dirty!!  The pair I had before them were way cleaner, they wouldnt roll around in the dirt as much as the ones I have now.  Kinda weird cuz theyre the same breed n everything..

post #9 of 9

Birds generally like to take dust baths because the dust tends to clog the breathing pores of parasites, mostly lice, which stay on the bird. That's why people add DE to the dust box. The behavior is not a thought out thing, rather, an instinctual matter. Might be compared to folks who enjoy taking a nice long bath or shower, when they could be clean and out in minutes.

Jim

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