Dust bath a must in winter?

LilyBird

In the Brooder
May 20, 2015
80
20
36
Ontario Canada
Are dust baths absolutely necessary in the winter? I ask because I've just had to block my chickens from getting into the dust baths because the dust coming off of them after a bath is horrendous! There is dust on EVERYTHING in the run and they are wheezing. It's definitely the wood ash I added to the mix that's making all the dust. :(

The run is wood chips and the coop is wood shavings. But they don't spend any time in the coop unless they are sleeping.

So, if dust baths are necessary, I can put in a temporary dust bath, but what should I put in it? Just sand?
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,780
772
Macon,GA
Are dust baths absolutely necessary in the winter? I ask because I've just had to block my chickens from getting into the dust baths because the dust coming off of them after a bath is horrendous! There is dust on EVERYTHING in the run and they are wheezing. It's definitely the wood ash I added to the mix that's making all the dust.
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The run is wood chips and the coop is wood shavings. But they don't spend any time in the coop unless they are sleeping.

So, if dust baths are necessary, I can put in a temporary dust bath, but what should I put in it? Just sand?
They do need to bathe year round. IMO toss the current stuff and use just sand.
 
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theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
32,414
20,709
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Playground sand works great. Some people add all kinds of things for various reasons but I keep it simple.

Mine love sand. This sand was left over from a construction project.



And sometimes a clean spot in the yard works well.


As you have learned, adding other substances can cause respiratory issues.
 

LilyBird

In the Brooder
May 20, 2015
80
20
36
Ontario Canada
Ok, so I can add a tub into the run and fill it with sand. And playground sand I could purchase from a hardware store is okay? Are there additives in that? Or could I just get a couple of buckets from the beach nearby?
 

LilyBird

In the Brooder
May 20, 2015
80
20
36
Ontario Canada
LOVE the pictures!!
Playground sand works great. Some people add all kinds of things for various reasons but I keep it simple. Mine love sand. This sand was left over from a construction project. And sometimes a clean spot in the yard works well. As you have learned, adding other substances can cause respiratory issues.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,745
144,076
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Ok, so I can add a tub into the run and fill it with sand. And playground sand I could purchase from a hardware store is okay? Are there additives in that? Or could I just get a couple of buckets from the beach nearby?
As long as it somewhere that stays dry....or it'll freeze solid.
I put a tub(maybe 18" x 24" x 8") of sand inside the coop for winter dusting...not sure how much they actually use it, not much I don't think.
 

deacons

Songster
Oct 8, 2013
647
106
201
New Hampshire
I have trouble with sand freezing solid, even if it stays in a covered area. I have better luck using peat moss mixed with sand, all under a covered part of the run. I keep it turned and raked to try to keep it loose enough for them to dig in, even when it's really cold. I also have a few small bags of it that I keep dry in my garage so I can add as the winter goes on. Whatever you're going to use, I'd advise you to buy a few bags now and store them in a warm, dry place so you have them later this winter. At least in my area, the hardware stores leave the bags of sand, dirt, and peat moss outside, so once it starts freezing consistently, anything you buy from them will be frozen solid and not much use to you- if you can even find it in the middle of the winter!
 
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