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chicken dust bath

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jksranch, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. jksranch

    jksranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've always let my chickens dust in whatever they could find. Setting them up an old kiddie pool, should I just use play sand or use a mix of dirt and sand?? I'll also be sprinkling DE on the top.[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just filter the rocks out of my regular old backyard dirt and then mix in a little DE. I would mix it in. It is not good for you or your chickens to breathe in so you don't want it flying up everywhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  3. I just fill a bin with DE. My chickens dont use it anyway. Now that I read ChickensRdinos post I am glad.
     
  4. dbaydak

    dbaydak Out Of The Brooder

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    Findlay, Ohio
    Hi,

    We set up a small kiddie pool for our flock and they love it. Everyone uses it. I just put DE earth in it, but after reading Chickensrdino's post I will be mixing it with something. The DE is great for the birds! It is a natural pest repellent/killer, like lice, etc. We also mix it in our feed to prevent worms in the chickens. Our flock is super healthy, laying eggs everyday and we haven't had any issues with them.

    I think your flock would like the dust bath, but beware don't force them, let them find it on their own.
     
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Question on the kiddie pools. Are you using them in covered runs? If not, what about when it rains?

    I'm thinking about doing the same but my run isn't covered and I'm worried about rain. Thinking I could drill drainage holes in the bottom and sit it up a bit to allow for drainage but will need to cover those holes with small screen or something to keep their dusting medium from leaking out the holes.

    Just wondering if anyone had the same concerns or ideas on how to avoid a soggy dust bath.
     
  6. dbaydak

    dbaydak Out Of The Brooder

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    Findlay, Ohio
    Our dust baths are inside a run so we usually don't have much trouble with rain. Sometimes it does get a little wet if the winds are really bad, but we just let it dry out. We did not put any holes in the bottom, I didn't think of that. Be careful with screen, the metal ones can injure the birds when they are bathing in the dust.
     
  7. jksranch

    jksranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Streetman, Texas
    thanks for the info. My run is covered so rain won't be an issue.
     
  8. SSAcres

    SSAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    What is DE? Thanks.
     
  9. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Taylors, SC
    DE is the food grade version of the fossilized skeletons of diatoms. It presents as a fine, white powder. Sometimes sold with bentonite added to it to facilitate drying. The calcium bentonite tends to make the product take on a tan or brown color.

    Chris
     
  10. Kilsharion

    Kilsharion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DE loses its efficacy as soon as it gets wet. So, those of you who have your dusting areas get wet when it rains, be sure to add more DE once it fully dries.

    Also, breathing in small amounts of DE does not cause health problems. If you sat their with your head in a bag of DE and breathed it in constantly, you'd eventually have issues - just like breathing in any other dust (saw dust, granite dust, sand dust, etc) can cause problems if done in large quantities. As soon as DE gets wet, the microbial sharp edges on it disappear. That's why you have to replace it when it gets wet.
     

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