Dust bath question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kcan2, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. kcan2

    kcan2 Chirping

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    What do you all put in your dust baths? I put sand in mine but my chicken doesnt seem to be using it much. He got in it the one day (pictured) but didn't roll around much and hasn't been in it much since. Also, does the size matter? Mine might be too small... (the food bowl isn't in it normally) 20191019_130354.jpg
     
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  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Chickens bathe themselves with dirt. They toss it up under their wings, roll their necks around in it, and pretty much get the dirt inside and underneath all their feathers all the way to the skin. It's this "scrubbing" with dirt that removes parasites and conditions feathers and skin. When they are finished, they shake all the dirt free of their feathers and they are just as clean as we are after we have had a hot shower.

    Dirt bathing medium can include fine soil, fine to medium coarse sand, peat moss, and sifted wood ash. You can mix them together in any combination you wish.

    The size of the container should include enough room for two or more chickens since dirt bathing is a satisfying social activity where chickens enjoy close contact with one another, even new baby chicks.

    Do you just have the one chicken? If so, no wonder the chicken isn't that crazy about dirt bathing. It's a social activity requiring the company of other chickens. P1010010.JPG P1010001.JPG
     
  3. Duckfarmer1

    Duckfarmer1 Songster

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    I got play sand and used a big Christmas tote for my big chickens coop...the smaller coop got a tote too, just a smaller version, and two can fit just fine...I put about 3” of sand in just to see how much they need..how much they waste
     
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  4. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Sand, even if kicked out of the bath is not wasted. Your birds will revisit it, and eat some of the sand as 'fine grit'.
     
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  5. Duckfarmer1

    Duckfarmer1 Songster

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    Ok, speaking of grit... I need some for my ducks...should I just take a bowl of sand over?
     
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  6. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Grit must have angular edges and be of a suitable size for the duck or chicken or baby duck or chick. It is sold at feed stores in adult size grit and chick size grit.

    If you wish to use your local soil or sand, look at the particles under a magnifying lens to be sure they are not rounded which would make it useless as grit. Think in terms of sharp garbage disposal blades in a chicken's or duck's gizzard.
     
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  7. glassdragonfly

    glassdragonfly Crowing

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    :frowMy chickens are free range so they find spots all over! Drives DH crazy! :rolleyes: They really love to get in the ashes about 2 days after we burn branches. They make a major ash cloud when they are done:lau
     
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  8. kcan2

    kcan2 Chirping

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    Thanks for all of that good info and cute pics! Yes, I just have the one chicken that started coming over to my house just before winter set in. I would love to get him friends but can't seem to find any bantams in my area :( hopefully first thing in the spring!
     
  9. kcan2

    kcan2 Chirping

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    Thank you! I have the play sand too but will try the tote!
     
  10. kcan2

    kcan2 Chirping

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    Ashy chickens! They are so silly! Unfortunately my ash pile is buried under the snow right now :( we do have a pellet stove, do you think pellet stove ash would be safe to use?
     
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