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Hens and Roo digging large holes

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

In December I purchased 3 hens and a rooster, all dominickers.  The hens are laying almost daily but I have noticed they are digging holes and laying them.  Sometimes they fluff around in the dirt.  I have them in a pen but they access to the outdoors also.  I clean the pen at least twice a week and put pine shavings on the floor.  Should I clean the pen less and is this normal behavior?

post #2 of 13

They are giving themselves dirtbaths. They love to do this.  Mine normally due it in their run but if it is raining outside I find them doing it in their coop.  I think it helps them keep clean. Might be wrong on last part.And welcome-byc from Ga


Edited by terrilhb - 2/11/11 at 3:55am
Have wonderful Husband of almost 25 yrs. 25 yr old daughter, 23 yr old son, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 5 goats, and 19 Hens, 3 Roosters and 9 guinea's. My Dh made me get rid of the other 8 guinea's but I will get more. LOL
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Have wonderful Husband of almost 25 yrs. 25 yr old daughter, 23 yr old son, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 5 goats, and 19 Hens, 3 Roosters and 9 guinea's. My Dh made me get rid of the other 8 guinea's but I will get more. LOL
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the info, thanks

one dog, 2 cats, 1 rooster and 3 hens

post #4 of 13

It's a natural behavior called dust bath, ,, keep forward

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go"

Thomas Stearns Eliot
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"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go"

Thomas Stearns Eliot
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post #5 of 13

Dust bathing does help with parasite control.  Even chicks will "dust bathe" in the shavings in their brooder.

My front yard looks like a moonscape, with chicken fox holes where they have dug their dust bath spas.  They will do it in the coop, too, especially if the weather outside is wet.

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

Reply
post #6 of 13

In my large run I have put in a const. sand box in the corner - looks much like a child's sand box.  Not fancey just 2x4's nailed together.  Perfect for dust bathing.  It discourages holes all over too.  Maybe you can try it.

post #7 of 13

Ours make dust baths too, but they also like to dig for worms and other bugs. They are also very happy when I rake their yard and cover up the holes they've dug -- just more for them to do and new things to find! They really seem to like to be busy.

post #8 of 13

Mine prefer to use any semi-bare spot for their dust baths he I'm constantly filling holes throughout the yard where the grass was just a little thin & the silly things decided it was perfect for a bath.  I've started using large tree branches over the holes to discourage them, plus they've got a hole by the house they can use, along with in their run.  Last time I thoroughly cleaned their house out, they were all having great fun diggin in the newly-uncovered dirt & taking baths gig They were'nt very happy when I kicked them out & covered it back up with straw smile

post #9 of 13

Even my broody chickens treasure their dust baths. I don't consider the hole large until I can hear Chinese conversations.

post #10 of 13

Perfectly normal for the chickens to be digging holes. Just wait 'till warm weather! They will have little basins dug al;l over your yard and gardens. Mine love to dig nice holes, then dirt bathe, then take a nap in the sun Especially if we are sitting or working outside.

~ MARIE~, ZOey's nana in COOLville, Ohio
1 rooster(OEGame/Andalusian mix), 1 B.A./OEG hen,1 Black Jersey Giant hen, 1 Black Astralorp hen; 1 - ~White Plymouth Rock "Klucky". 1~Delaware hen.
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~ MARIE~, ZOey's nana in COOLville, Ohio
1 rooster(OEGame/Andalusian mix), 1 B.A./OEG hen,1 Black Jersey Giant hen, 1 Black Astralorp hen; 1 - ~White Plymouth Rock "Klucky". 1~Delaware hen.
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