Do chickens need dust baths in the winter???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wings, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    I haven't found any other discussions about this. Anyone???

    I have 5 six month old chickens. Do they need a dust bath in the winter? The ground is frozen, so how do I do this?
  2. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    I don't know whether or not they NEED a dust bath, but I definitely know that they WANT one. I have not let mine free-range quite as much, lately, because they have a new, huge run of their own, but whenever I do let them out into the yard, they RUN up towards the house, where they immediately plop down in the soft, powdery dirt that's under the overhang, and they really seem to relish their time there. Maybe you could put some fine sand into their run?
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Dust bathing helps keep down parasites, such as mites and lice. There are probably fewer of the parasites in the wild, but the chickens will LOVE a dust bath any time. You could go to the dollar store and get a dish pan. Fill it with dry dirt and some diatomaceous earth, and you'll have dirt-loving birds before you know it.

    Check out my bathing beauties:
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Ours use the pine shavings litter in the coops to dust bathe in when the ground is frozen here.

    I set them up a shallow plastic pan (filled with pine shavings, playsand and food grade DE) last winter for dust bathing in but they used it as a nest box instead. [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of Goldie Hen after dusting in one of the many wallows they make in the shavings...


    Hope this is some help!

  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Mine love to wallow about in the shavings in the coop. I deep litter so it has over 6" in there right now. I've continued to add DE to the mix so I guess that's helping.

    I caught my mama hen wallowing about in there covered in shavings and sawdust and all four babies were standing around the wallow watching intently. Made me think of when my sister goes in to take a shower and all her children immediately need her attention. [​IMG]
  6. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    My litter is six inches deep, has shavings, DE and soil and yeah, they go for bust bathing and wallowing in there, often right down to the floor.

    What's fun now is Shadow, the coop rabbit, likes to make a wallow and she and Ponder both get in it. At least each has a friend.
  7. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    I just came in .. had to give up cleaning out the goat pen. All my hens were in there having a dust bath and the time of their lives! Honestly they wouldnt move when I was trying to shovel.... I found that they will find a place, usually in the sunlight even if its inside, and "make do."
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I put sand in a storage container like one that you would put under a bed. My birds love it. There is a pic on my BYC Page of some of my younger birds in their sandbox.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  9. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2008
    mine were out today haveing a dust bath
  10. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Mine are still dust bathing. I came up on my roo one day and he had layed down on his side and was resting in the dirt after his bath. The little booger scared the snot out of me, I thought he had died!

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