almost 4 weeks old, do they need a dust bath?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jssbcause, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. jssbcause

    jssbcause New Egg

    Nov 29, 2010
    I have been wondering when/if my chicks need a dust bath. They will be 4 weeks on Monday and are starting to dig into the pine shavings deep like thet are trying to clean them selves. Should i put in a dust bath area for them? If so what is in a dust bath?

    Sorry for the newbe question, but i can't seem to find an answer in any books i have. Thanks in advance for the feedback, and any additional advice you may have.

    24 chicks, in an 8 x 12 area of my mud room. About to put up roosts, and then nesting boxes. I want to plan out everything i will need for them over the winter in SoEast Missouri. They will go out in the spring, and on nice days this winter.

  2. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Chicks will actually start dust baths at just a few days old.
    You can put a box in there with some dirt in it.
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I mixed up some fine soil, fine sand, a little DE, and a few wood ashes and put it in a cookie sheet. They went absolutely nuts over it.

    These are my 2 Delawares getting filty. They will love you for it.
  4. jssbcause

    jssbcause New Egg

    Nov 29, 2010
    this is great. Thank you! It will be very entertianing too. I will try to catch a few pictures.
  5. Gold Griffin Chicken Mom

    Gold Griffin Chicken Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Suffolk, Virginia
    The first time my "April Babies" had a dust bath they were SO into it, it was like they were in a trance. We were outside in a wire enclosure and there was a spot if dirt about the size of a sheet of notebook paper. The Aprils numbered 11, so of course they didn't all fit. That didn't stop them! Everybody was flopping, flipping, and wriggling. I captured it with my camera phone. A couple of chicks in the middle got done and walked away. The others were so into what they were doing that they didn't move. I started placing babies in the center of the spot. I mean, flopping on my shoe and pants leg was not doing the job! (I was sitting right next to them.) Normally they would shriek if I picked them up, then calm back down ("Oh, Mom has me. No reason to panic after all."). This time they were silent. They paused squirmming just long enough for me to set them back down. Looking back on it, I probably should have tried to pick one up by the head, just to see if it could be done, lol.

    Enjoy those babies! Remember to try a shallow pan of water for them next Summer. Mine stood around in the water, just cooling their toes when we had those 100+ degree days. Hubby said I was training them to hop in a baking pan.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Liking and needing a dust bath are two different things. Chickens don't need dust baths, but having them sure is pleasant. A little dry soil and sand should provide ecstasy.
  7. hempsteadjb

    hempsteadjb Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2017
    Would food grade diatomaceous dirt work?
  8. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You can use sand, loose soil mixed with fine wood ash, peat moss, even wheat bran. Anything loose and dry will work.

    There's nothing cuter than little chicks doing a dirt bath.
    barred2rock likes this.
  9. barred2rock

    barred2rock Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, you don't want to use anything but food grade. Non food grade DE would kill them.
  10. hempsteadjb

    hempsteadjb Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2017
    Thank you for the reply, I mixed the DE food grade with sand, so far they have not gone near it

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