Do I need to "make" a dust bath?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sarahandbray, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are 10-weeks-old and have been out in their coop/run/pasture for 5-weeks. They tend to dust bathe in the run where the ground is all dirt and not grassy. It's been raining here in upstate, NY and that's got me thinking--do I need to make an indoor dust bath for the chickens for the winter? The coop is 10x10, so I guess I have room, but where to put it?!?
    What do I put in it?
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Great that you're thinking ahead to the winter doldrums, when they are getting bored and can get cranky. A dust bath in the coop is a great idea, especially since you have the space for it. Any old thing will work - mine is in one of those big rubber horse watering pans. Folks have used old sandboxes from neighbors, yard sales or Craig's List, washtubs, even those oversized flower pots. If it will hold dirt and a chicken, you're all set!
     
  3. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't put it under a roost or they will poop all in it.
     
  4. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about a clean plastic kitty litter tub? Too small?
     
  5. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should work fine.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I use large wash tubs filled about 1/4 full with mix of a silt-loam and peat moss rich potting soil. Ideally it be in direct sun between hours of 1000 and 1600 as that peak range of dust bathing times. Dust bathing temporarily disrupts insulator value of pelage / body feathers so they like to be in relatively warm locations while dusting. Such also drier.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  7. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Huh. Ok..but where do I put an actual dust bath outside so it doesn't get wet and soggy and muddy? Right now, my pasture is still fine but the dog run part of it is muddy & wet. Yuck.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I assume you are some northern latitude. If you have 8/*an area protected from rain then it has a roof. During winter you can place dusting near south facing opening protected from rain yet exposed to mid day sun.
     

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