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Dirt in the Coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by heyjami, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. heyjami

    heyjami In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2008
    Hi, do any of you put some dirt in for the chickens to dust off with?
    We're using the deep litter method so there is no place for them to burrow into the ground.

    We do let them out most days for a few hours to range and they love digging and laying in the cool earth.

    I'm thinking about the rainy season - what have the rest of you done? I think they'll be inside during the rainy times.
  2. JaciesCoop

    JaciesCoop Songster

    Aug 16, 2007
    I would put a deep box (about 10 to 12 inches) of sand in for them if you are going to keep them in the coop. They will learn to use it. Be sure the box is big enough for them to move about in so they can turn and roll.
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I've heard of people putting dirt or DE in a shallow container inside their coops for their chickens to dustbathe in. However, most people don't put anything inside their coop as the chickens will bathe in pine shavings just as well.

    Even if it's rainy out you should give your chickens the option of going outside. If you have even a small area that you can keep dry they will likely use that to dirt bathe in. I have an igloo doghouse that I took the floor out of and have it sitting directly on the ground. They love to sit in the shade in there and dust bathe, it always stays dry.
  4. eeiko321

    eeiko321 Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    well im really new to this myself

    but thats something i want to know

    i have read that u should buy a "planter box" at the hardware store or perhaps a garden store.

    put some fine grit on some sand...so it can play around in it.
    gets rid of some pests...

    thats what i might try today....and ill keep ya posted on the results
  5. heyjami

    heyjami In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2008
    thanks everyone! That was my instinct, but wanted to see the innovative ideas you have.

    Yes, there is an area next to the coop with lots of trees/vegetation and it should stay mostly dry. I'll open the door in the rainy season but my guess is that they'll stay in. I'm going to have to put out some ground cover to keep the puddles from forming.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I bought one of those plastic containers that go under beds and filled it with sand and sprinkled some DE in the box over the sand. I put it outside the coop and if the weather was foul or forcasted to be, I put the lid on it. The birds loved it. If you have a coop large enough to put it into, you could. They have wheels on them.
  7. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:Hello,I have concrete floor in my coop and I swear i am not kidding,I covered the entire floor with dirt since then I do not smell ay bad otors from my chicken,I reake the bad duz every week once out and add a little dirt every once and a while and it works for me.
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    You were asking about the rainy season - our hens LOVE the wet dirst. Maybe not soaked, but when we clean their pen, they are just chomping at the bit to get in there and peck the ground for treats.
  9. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    My chickens LOVE the rain. I open the chicken door around 6:30 each morning, and even when it's raining right along, they all typically come outside. I've even seen them outside in down pours. If it rains all day, they are in and out all day.

    Since it's my first year with chickens, I'm not sure what they'll do in the winter, but I plan to open the chicken door and let them decide. A box of dirt in the coop isn't a bad idea though and I may just do that if they end up staying inside a lot in the winter.

  10. Cheryl

    Cheryl Songster

    How odd our chickens are, when it is raining my girls stand at the door of their run (it has a roof) and look out at the rain, yesterday Hanna got to New England, and boy did we have rain. As for a dirt bath, they head out into the yard and burrow into my plants!!! Their run has yard loam, started out with grass...a tub of sand in it for the winter is probably a good idea

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