Dirt bath related to mites or chiggers??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicken Chaperone, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Chicken Chaperone

    Chicken Chaperone Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm foster parenting our neighbor's chicken and have been for almost 4 months. Today I saw her take her first dirt bath! It absolutely slayed me! I was laughing so hard- Henrietta is such a funny chicken anyway and the sounds she was making and the way she flipped dirt everywhere just cracked me up.
    ...Then my first time chicken parent brain kicked in and I started wondering and quite possibly over-thinking.... is there some reason that she's itchy? Almost 4 months of hanging out with her and I've never seen her take a dirt bath before now...Might we have mites? My first look was at the base of her feathers on her skin and I didn't see anything that looked like it might be moving or biting. My next look was around the coop and I did see what looked like a few chiggers cruising around. Not many, I counted less than a dozen in 3-4 minutes of looking (and killed them all..). It has been unseasonably warm here in North Texas today- in the high 60's but we've already had freezing temps and that usually makes the chiggers here into ex-chiggers. Am I just waaayyyy over thinking the whole thing? Might it be something besides chiggers? Henrietta is eating and drinking well, has good energy and has been her usual self. Is there any link between chickens having dirt baths and itchy biting things? Boy, I tell ya, being a first time chicken mom sure reminds me of being a first time human baby mom- lol! And of course, just thinking about chiggers makes me feel itchy.
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    They dust bath mostly to get clean, also to cool themselves I believe as mine go nuts in summer - nothing funnier than watching 3 hens all trying to bath in the same "hole" they dug!
  3. jprice2ndlt

    jprice2ndlt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
    Hodges, S.C.
    my do the same thing they love to dust bathe
  4. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    they just enjoy it, yes it helps if they have mites, but it is a social interaction time- nothing funnier than chicks dusting together!
  5. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    They also remove some of the oils from their feathers when they dust bath. Then they spend awhile repleneshing the oils and getting the feathers clean again.

    If a bird is dust bathing daily and sometimes several times a day, then I would definately be looking for crawlies.

  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Wait you only have ONE chicken all alone????
    Poor girl she's probably lonely!!!

    Mine dustbath every day, even if it means taking a mud bath instead.
  7. Chicken Chaperone

    Chicken Chaperone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yeah, just the one. She is our neighbor's chicken that I'm taking care of so although it would be my preference to get her a pal it isn't really my decision to make.
    LOL! about the mud baths! That's so great! What funny birds we have!! [​IMG]!
  8. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    Yeah, you get her a pal and maybe some more and before long you have yourself a nice flock going for when she comes for a visit!

    JAX FL [​IMG]

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