What is the best surefire way to give the chickens a good dusting under the feathers/wings etc? What works best for dispensing the product onto the bird? Thanks:cool:
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I have read a lot of methods, but here's what worked for me.
I just have some kind of container to work over, and i wear a pair of garden gloves. I put the powder in my gloved hands and make sure it gets wherever i need it to get on the chicken. Having a container - like a rubbermaid or something to work in/over helps to gather the dust that doesn't get on them for whatever reason. It also helps to contain the chicken while i'm working. You have to move fast before they get impatient, but i've had success this way.
Best way is to let them dust bath natural so you do not have to treat them. But if you do have to treat them it will take 2 people as one must hold while the other applies.
If you choose to go the natrual roote then get a box wider by half than your chickens and 4 inches or more deep. Fill with 1 part sand 1 part wood ash 1 part dirt and a bit of DE if you choose. This is called a dust bath and chickens need it too keep bugs off them like lice and mites. Mine dust bath in many areas around my yard one being a sawdust pile theother under the cedar trees. Dust bath box should always be availble to chickens. Some really love to dust bath and will do it every day.
For dusting a bird, a shaker type of container can be pretty handy, too. It helps you aim the dust where you want it, but can be sitting beside you, while you use two hands to put the chicken into position. Wear a dust mask!
That bin full of dust sounds like it would work well. I've also heard of putting the chicken in a plastic bag with it's head sticking out and some dust in the bottom. Then you poof/jiggle/lightly whack the bag, to get the dust dispersed inside. This is the shake and bake method of dusting. I haven't tried it, but I always thought it sounded interesting. It would be dusty when you opened the bag, though.
I've gone to just encouraging more dust bathing and that has worked for us. We get a lot of rain here, so I started providing a dust bath in the covered portion of the run, that would always be dry. It has nice fluffy sand and some DE in it. It's much better than our wet clay soil on a rainy day. The only problem we've had is when we had a broody that wasn't dust bathing.
Miss Prissy shared this idea with me. Has worked for me slick as a whistle:
Cut the foot off a pair of pantyhose. Fill with dusting powder. Tie a knot in the end.
Take a stool out to the coop to sit on. Catch your chicken and put her "tummy up" in your lap.
Using the stocking, poof poof poof all over her tummy and then lightly "rake" under her feathers with your fingers. Make sure you get under her tail and wings.
Flip her over and do her back. Don't forget at the base of her tail.
It only takes me about 60 seconds per bird to accomplish this.