Dust bath space: enclosed?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HollyDutton, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. HollyDutton

    HollyDutton Out Of The Brooder

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    So I'm looking all around at coops and runs/enclosures. Several seem to have space designated for dust baths, which is good, and something I'll do, but... having had indoor pets that take dust baths (gerbils) I know it's best to try keeping that somewhat "clean" and we did that for the furry ones by having it in a fishbowl-like thing. Kept the dust in, and the bedding out, fairly well.

    So, rather than just setting up a sandbox type thing for chicken dust baths, has anyone tried a lipped/cave/bowl-on-its-side type enclosure? Something with one way in and out, rather than an open floorplan type access? Would birds even go in that for a bath or would it be viewed as a nesting area?

    I'm thinking of some kind of combination of play sand + DE for the bath.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Chickencountryuk

    Chickencountryuk Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi. I have an open dust bath at one end of my run. I put sand and fresh soil in once in a while. I also have an old wheelbarrow half filled with soil and sand. An enclosed one may work but it would need to be quite big. When my hens dust bath they all tend to want to be in it at the same time!
     
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  3. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Lord of the Feed Premium Member

    The runs for our houses, were at one time, lush and green. In no time, nothing is left but one big dust bath. My birds use different areas and create craters. Within the dips of the sandy soil is all that my birds need. They drag their beaks to trim them naturally, lay and create snow-less snow angels. And just sometimes just sunbathe.
    I never needed to build a dust bath because mother nature hardwired their brains to make their own.
     
  4. HollyDutton

    HollyDutton Out Of The Brooder

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    I expect them to pick out all greenery pretty quickly. But our soil here is what's called "gumbo" - it's dark, dense and has a lot of clay in it. Not something you can really roll around in (though you can dig tunnels/burrows pretty well). So, I figured I'd need to make something for the purposes of rolling and flopping around in.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Just get something with deeper sides....skip the DE, use the coarsest sand you can find.
     
  6. HollyDutton

    HollyDutton Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking the DE would be good for heading off any pests like lice or fleas, etc. No? Coarse sand... like even as course as decomposed granite?
     
  7. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    Mine like the dust bath in the sun. If it's in a shadow, they will make their own dust bathing hole in the sunniest spot in the run.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It really doesn't do much for pests and it's terrible for them to breathe it.
    Not sure how coarse DG is but play sand can be very dusty.
    I think you might be surprised what they can dig up on their own.
     
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  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    and if the earth in the run gets too compacted and they can't dig it up on their own, I like to take a pick to it from time to time and the chickens go nuts! They scratch, they dust bathe, I uncover all kinds of bugs and worms this way, they love it.
     
  10. HollyDutton

    HollyDutton Out Of The Brooder

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    DG is what you find on jogging trails around parks.
     

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