Dust bath a must in winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LilyBird, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. LilyBird

    LilyBird Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    36
    May 20, 2015
    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?
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,848
    2,727
    416
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    They do need to bathe year round. IMO toss the current stuff and use just sand.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,756
    5,386
    576
    May 11, 2010
    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.
    [​IMG]


    And sometimes a clean spot in the yard works well.
    [​IMG]

    As you have learned, adding other substances can cause respiratory issues.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,855
    7,016
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Huge grin!! what a great pic!
     
  5. LilyBird

    LilyBird Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    36
    May 20, 2015
    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?
     
  6. LilyBird

    LilyBird Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    36
    May 20, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    LOVE the pictures!!
     
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,319
    446
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    A kitty litter pan works great. Any free sand or dirt will do the job.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,855
    7,016
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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.
     
  9. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

    620
    56
    151
    Oct 8, 2013
    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!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  10. LilyBird

    LilyBird Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    36
    May 20, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    Yes, I'm worried about finding stuff now too.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by