dust bath "recipe" AND wing feathers already?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sharol, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I know I saw a list of the things to include in a mini-spa dustbath area for baby chicks. I remember that it had a bit of DE, dirt, sand, and some other stuff. Anybody have any input? I was thinking of making a little dustbath area in the brooder at the end. My 4 day olds are trying to do the lay on their sides and flutter thing in the powder from their food discards.

    They are all sprouting wing feathers already. I had no idea they would be feathering out practically as I watched. One of the little Delawares has practically tripled the feather number and length since I got up this morning 7 hours ago. Amazing. Anyway, that is why I was thinking dustbath area. Those feathers coming in have to itch!

  2. Barry1963

    Barry1963 In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2010
    Madison, Tennessee
    I have one of those tubs you get from home depot or stores like that for mixing concrete. theyre about a 1 ft 1/2 wide, 2 1/2 ft long and about 6 inches deep. I use a regular house window screen and sift the dirt which makes it really fine and removes debri. It works great and the girls spend hours in it.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Potting soil works great, mixed with some sand, some DE. Especially the kind with a lot of peat in it.
  4. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    I saw a recipe that included ashes, DE, and sand.

    As for feathers, I was surprised at how quickly they come in. They look kinda silly wearing mostly feathers, but fluff around their little necks![​IMG]

  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    I use an old tractor tire filled with sand hauled from the creek and wood ashes added-----been working for over 15 years now.
  6. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Ashes. That's what I forgot. Thanks to both replies. I went to the lumber yard for sand (none around here), and they gave me a bag free for the picking up. Nice folks. I have DE and ashes and potting soil, so I guess I'm good to go.
  7. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I'm sorry, but what's DE? I'm a new chick owner (my babies are 5 weeks) and I don't have a dustbath set up for them yet. I let them roam around for a little bit each day, and they always find a cool dirty spot near my compost pile to roll around in.

    The coop should be finished this weekend, and with it we have made a little "dust bath gazebo" so this thread is perfect for finding out what I should fill it with, thanks!

    And I agree....the feathers come in overnight!!! Aren't baby feathers SO cute?!

  8. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    DE is Diatomaceous Earth. It's a fine white powder mae of ground up diatoms --ocean (?) microorganisms' shells.

    It cuts through the shells of ticks, lice, & mites, so keeps the chickens parasite free on the outside. It also helps keep worms out of the digestive tracts.
    Miz a little with your sand/soil.
    It's available online, or at a really good feedstore. Make sure you order "FOOD GRADE" DE so they won't get qany poisonous chemicals when they eat it, which they probably will. Food Grade DE can also be mixed with sand.
    There are some useful links on BYC about it, or you can search for "FOOD GRADE" DE.

    Make sure to wear a dust mask or handkercheif over nose & mouth when dispensing this stuff. It can irritate your lungs & nose.
  9. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Diatomaceous Earth -- it is actually a sort of ground up sea stuff. The guy at the farm store says it is pretty much like glass ground up. It is used to prevent (not treat for) parasites like mites.

    I plan to mix a small amount in with the dirt, sand, and a few ashes and then put the whole mess in an old cookie pan that has sides so that they can practice in the brooder.


  10. hokankai

    hokankai Songster

    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Can I just ask where the heck you get ashes without burning stuff? Haha I'm in the middle of a subdivision and I'm pretty sure a bonfire might cause some panic. [​IMG]

    I'm working on my dust bath recipe and finally got some DE. Now I just need to get some potting soil and find some sand...and I guess some ashes!

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