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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ScoobyRoo, Feb 23, 2009.
big enough to put a football in it. They are doing it all over! It can't be stoppped can it???
It's typical behavior - they are just "dusting" themself off. This is their way of taking a bath and getting rid of any bugs that may be on them. They let the dirt and sand get deep down into their bodies then shake it off.
In the hot summer time they will also dig a hole in the dirt and sit or lay in the hole to keep cool. It is good that your hens can roll in the dirt. It will keep them happy and healthy. But if they are free range and you have garden areas they will surely dig the best of it up. That's why after trying free ranging our first year we had to make a change (all my flowers and garden areas were destroyed). So we created a huge coop with plenty of roaming room, and digging room. They are happy campers still in their new area.
No...chickens must dig.
In my run, the 2 foot skirt around the the perimeter is not only to keep the predators out....it's to keep the chickens in. Sometimes they set traps for me, I swear!
I have places for them to dust. A LOT of places. But why do they choose to use my yard where grass is to grow? I still love em tho.
Quote:That is what they are doing, digging (scratching) not dust bathing.
They are also looking for bugs. Mine love it when the garden is not in season. I have holes all over the garden. They also eat seeds that are life behind from veges that were not harvested.
And you definately can not stop them. They love mulch, dirt, grass, leaves, etc. Mine love more than anything to go in the field and upturn horse manure.
Well, clearly it is more fun to dig in places other than the ones provided (for the same reason that children color on the walls). Stop trying to stifle their artistic expression!
If there is a place your sure you DO want a hole dug go there and start clucking and scratching yourself, it's a riot, they will all join in. Throw a couple seeds in the bottom of the hole every few minutes and in no time they will be a foot down. Do not think that you can 'train' them to dig only where you want, however targeting their holes for the day can reduce the other damage.
Giving them something better to do works too, have you checked with the local produce market to see if you can have scraps? The toss out stuff in a pile for them to peck and scratch through will take up some of their time. A cabbage that you have put a screw into the core of so you can hang it up with wire or twine is a good game too, it's like a chicken's pinata, they party with that for hours.
a chicken pinata
Quote:Because the neighbors don't think we're nuts enough, we need to add another layer to the chicken-owning fruitcake.