Do chicks need to 'dust'?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tamraclovw, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

    66
    0
    39
    Jan 6, 2012
    Hi all! I have my first little flock - 11 chicks, 4 layer breeds, about 2 weeks old. They are doing great, drinking from Avian Aqua Miser nipples, and beginning to perch. They are also beginning to try to dust bathe in their pine shavings. They have perfect form - spread wings, wallow breast down deep into the litter.

    Is this just practice? Or should I give them a pan of something (dirt, sand...?) to get dusty in? I know it is normal, I just want to be sure they have access to dust if they really need it at this age.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    They don't need any dirt or sand, but they'll love you forever if you give them some. I give my chicks dirt from somewhere around the coop from day one. They scratch, play in it and eat it. If your chicks were being raised by a broody, they'd be all over the dirt. Good luck!
     
  3. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

    514
    1
    121
    Apr 7, 2011
    Utah
    Totally fine, A hen would have them outside at this point ;)
     
  4. JiJis hens

    JiJis hens Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    31
    Mar 17, 2012
    Can I ask what type of sand? There's not much sand in my backyard so I will need to purchase some.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I've always bought a 40# bag of "all purpose" sand, or "construction sand" at Lowe's. NOT "playground" or "play sand." That hasn't any bits of gravel or pebbles in it, just sand, which is too fine.

    You'll only need a small bit of it for grit. I half fill a kitchen dishpan with all purpose sand and put it in the yard. In the brooder, I just put a flat pan and pour some sand into it. The chicks will eat some and scratch in the pan, dust bathe in it, etc. It gives them the grit they need if you give them treats like mealworms or bugs or worms or bits of greens, etc.

    And they'll love it!
     
  6. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

    779
    41
    138
    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    I built my 4 week olds a dusting box. A 4x4 sand box looking thing. I mixed some good sandy loam soil, some sand, and some D.E.
    They scratched around in it and ate some. No dusting action as of yet in the box. They have been doing the dusting motions all over the run. I going to clean out my fire place and mix some wood ash with it today. Im sure they will enjoy it when they figure it out.
     
  7. tamraclovw

    tamraclovw Out Of The Brooder

    66
    0
    39
    Jan 6, 2012
    Thanks all! I got a tin pie plate and half filled it with construction sand (complete with pebbles and other bits) and dirt from the garden. About 4 of them can scratch in it at a time. I think they will only need to be in the house for another 1-2 weeks before they can go out to the coop. I can still give them their heat lamp for cold nights.

    Someone mentioned that sand was enough grit for them. Is that right? I bought chick grit, should I just mix some into their scratch pan?

    Thanks for all the info! You guys are a great resource!!
     
  8. wvgal61

    wvgal61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    397
    7
    123
    Feb 28, 2010
    Troutman, nc
    Congratulations ! Put a bench near your coop when/pen and sit and watch them when you get them put in there. It is so interlining and relaxing. [​IMG]
    OH and [​IMG]
     
  9. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

    779
    41
    138
    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas

    The wife and I set 2 rocking chairs and a picnic table under the giant hackberry tree by the coop and run. My sister-in -law saw us and laughed at us saying,"You 2 are officially Old Folks"[​IMG]
    Picture is the view from the rocking chair
     
  10. JiJis hens

    JiJis hens Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    31
    Mar 17, 2012
    I'm 30 yrs old, and my boy's called me old so I would have no problem getting a rocking chair. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by