Best Dust Bath / Dust Bathing Materials

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nifty-Chicken, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Hey All,

    I unloaded a bunch of planter boxes into one main planter box and all the girls made a b-line to this newly turned soil. The were in heaven I think.

    This got me to thinking: What makes for the absolute best dust bathing material?

    Here are some of the suggestions I've seen.

    Wood Ash
    Fine / dusty dirt
    Diatomaceous earth
    What else?

    I'd love to get peoples thoughts on:
    1) What material mix / proportions would make the absolute, world's best dust bath for chickens?

    2) Does temperature outside and in the dust bath mix make a difference? If it is hot outside are the girls going to be looking for cooler dust bathing stuff?

    3) Do they just get tired of certain areas no matter how perfect the bath is and look for another spot to try out?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions!

    BTW, here are the girls as happy as could be (click for larger image):

    Here is our Buff Orp dusting herself. Hard to tell what the picture is with her being so contorted and flailing all over... just looks like a mound of feathers or like something out of the Matrix:

  2. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    Thay always look like they are seizing! ErinM
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I think you should listen to your girls! Looks like they are telling you you have created the perfect mix for bathing. [​IMG]
  4. joebwe25

    joebwe25 Songster

    Feb 1, 2007
    St. Louis, Mo.
    The hens have dug several pits in the front and its just plain dirt(pretty much clay).
  5. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    Our birds and guineas have always seemed to not care if it was hot or not where their dustbaths were, and they always seemed to prefer a light-colored dusty type soil instead of a heavier 'dirt' (if that makes any sense). Now that I've discovered DE, I'll be experimenting with how much to toss in each of the baths they've got scattered around, but so far about a handfull mixed in each one (just barely mixed in, just sort of half-hearted mixed) seems to be working real well. I figure the more 'powdery' the dirt/DE mix, the easier and faster it is to spread through the feathers onto their skin.
  6. karen

    karen In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2007
    do you think the DE we use for our pool filter is fine to use?
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    No, Karen. That stuff isn't the "food grade". That will irritate their eyes and lungs and isn't good for them or us.
    Rob, Slifer had a wallow right by the raised bed and that was HERS! Obelisk and Penny never even went to it.
    There's a wallow near the back steps and one in the side near another raised bed. I put DE when I feel like it...LOL
  8. karen

    karen In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2007
    Done. Off to the Farm Bureau. Thanks SC!
  9. I put sand out for them but they seem to prefer good old Ukiah soil. Our dirt (clay) is very dry b/c it hasn’t rained here in ages.

    I haven’t noticed the temp affecting them at all re: dusting. They just seem to do it when they need to.

    Mine dust in the run and move from spot to spot. First it’s one corner and they love it, then another. I leave them to it b/c they seem to know a whole lot more about it than I do!
  10. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Tuttle, Oklahoma
    Mine seem to prefer some of the more sandy soil.

    Right now they don't care as long as its not mud. It is so wet they have found a sandy spot in the lawn mower shed when they found the door open. They can't hurt anything in there so I let them have thier fun.

    Hummm..... think I will put some DE in there.

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