Dust bath frequency

bobd400

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
16
0
70
NE PA
Hi all, my first question here (just got my coturnix quail today). Regarding dust bath, I've decided to use DE (food grade...I may mix with fine sand too).

As everyone said, they can make a mess. My question, do I have to leave the "bath" there for them all the time, or can I put it out a few days a week?

Hoping it might cut down on some of the mess I have to deal with. But if it will have a bad impact on them then I'd opt to leave it all the time. Just don't know if a dust bath 2 or 3 times a week will cut it.

I did a search and found lots of dust bath info, just nothing too specific on frequency.

Thank you!
 

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
331
251
SF Bay Area, California
Many quail never get anything but wire floors, so no it won't hurt them taking it in and out as you feel like it. However they really do love it and it surely makes for a happier bird, so leave it in there as much as you feel like.
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,952
61,824
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Some quail like to bathe every day. Others will bathe a couple times a week. So yes, you can put the dusting pan in the pen 3 times a week if you like to keep the mess down.

However, DE is to be used sparingly. Only a tiny handful in a pan of sand or dirt. They should not be bathing in just DE. It is very dusty and sharp and when inhaled, can cause a lot of irritation to the lungs. Don't you breathe it in either. Cuts the lungs.
 

bobd400

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
16
0
70
NE PA
Thanks folks. Yeah, I've heard mixed reviews about DE, but after yesterday, it's certainly going to have to be cut with sand or something. Alone it makes WAY too much powder and mess!

Thanks again,
Bob
 

bobd400

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
16
0
70
NE PA
I've wondered if DE being sharp could irritate their eyes in any way
Yeah, I'll admit that when I was cleaning up a bit yesterday it didn't feel great (could be allergies too though) so I can't imagine it's good for them. Going forward it will be mostly sand....
 

Chickety Charcoal

Songster
8 Years
Jul 11, 2011
171
9
116
Westchester County, NY
I usually wear a mask when dealing with DE in my coop. It will irritate lungs and even eyes if the cloud is thick enough. DE by itself will definitely be messier than if it is mixed with sand. Try putting the dust pan in a closed box, like a nest box, and leave an opening large enough for them to get in and out. This would at least minimize the dust getting around and sand being wasted. I've seen people do this for button quail. They use a clear enclosed case that would be for a small animal like a chinchilla or something. Obviously you would need something a little larger for the corturnix.
 
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