Are they trying to have a dust bath in straw in the nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Alien Tea, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Alien Tea

    Alien Tea In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    They get in, puff themselves up and scratch around, throwing the straw everywhere. Often they peck at the wooden bottom of it too. Does that sound like they're just playing/exploring - or would they like a bath? Or maybe they didn't like having so much straw in there?

    We've had them for 4 days (they were sold to us as "point of lay" - we're not sure how old exactly they are), and they haven't left their tractor. We've been tossing up the idea of letting them free range, but we worry about them getting over the retaining wall down into the neighbors place - in with a Jack Russell dog, who would probably love to "play" with them. Or on to the road if they wander around the house to the front (we have no fences).
    We haven't put a dust bath in the tractor yet - I'm trying to work out what sort of container would be best to use (I'm thinking a largish kitty litter box - we don't really want to have to build something, and it has to be able to be moved around), and where to get stuff to put in it - our garden soil is all quite moist and full of bark and chunky bits of things - is that ok? I can get hardwood ash from the fireplace - I read not to use paper ash, and that is what we use to start our fires, but I couldn't work out why not use it - nothing I read said why.

    Would love some insight/help! Thanks
  2. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008
    I would think that would be exploring and playing, usually they will lay down and look like there having some kind of a fit kicking and carrying on. LOL Alot of times when mine are just sitting waiting to lay an egg they will grab pieces of straw and throw it up over there backs its so cute to watch!
    I just got the girls a 42" swimming pool and filled it with sand and a little DE mixed in and they love it![​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  3. Alien Tea

    Alien Tea In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    Well - they didn't use the dirt I put in a container in there for them as a dust bath, but they sure did like hopping in and scratching around in it. I'm pretty sure there was a worm or grub or two in there. [​IMG]

    I guess I'll buy some sand and/or that DE stuff.

    Your chickens look very sweet, stormylady [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  4. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    That does indeed sound like playing/dustbathing. It must be tons of fun since chickens spend so much time doing it.

    Come to think of it, I might roll around on soft stuff ta lot too if I didn't fear men in white coats getting called in on me.

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