Dust bath

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gabz44, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. gabz44

    gabz44 Out Of The Brooder

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    I just recently put my 10 week old chicks in their coop. I am told to they need dust baths. Do I buy a square bin ? What do I put inside??
     
  2. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    big flat tray of dirt or let them out. Chicks / chickens don't run away when you let them out, they'll follow you a few feet basically. Is there dirt next to the coop ? if it is safe from predators, just let them out.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Do they have access to the outdoors? Any dry spot of dirt works just fine. You don't need to do anything special.
     
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a dust bath container you can use just about anything, we use an old galvanized tub, I've seen an old child's sandbox, old tires, child's swimming pool or, depending on your climate and soil, nothing but a dry area of dirt in the run.

    In ours we use a mixture of peat moss and wood ash. Sand is also popular.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Do they free range mostly or are they confined to a run? That will determine the kind of dirt bath you need to create.

    Years ago, when I determined my flock needed a dirt bath, I chose a nice spot on the hillside under the shade of big pines. I filled it with loose soil, sand and wood ashes. My chickens ignored it completely.

    Not long after that, I created a squash bed near their coop and run. It was in full sun for the squash to grow. Guess who loved digging holes and dirt bathing in the squash bed?

    A good dirt bathing station will first of all be in a nice sunny, warm spot. It should be well drained so it doesn't fill up with mud during wet weather.

    Loose soil is best. You can add sand, peat moss, and wood ashes to create a nice loose material that gets well into all the feathery nooks and crannies of the chickens' bodies.

    It should be in a safe, protected spot so chickens can relax and not feel vulnerable to predators. It should be shielded from the wind and hot sun in summer.

    A dirt bath in a run can be a dug out hole filled with sand and peat moss. My runs are sand. My chickens dirt bathe in holes they dig out themselves right in this sand. They do, however, choose spots that usually see sun during part of the day. Sun bathing and dirt bathing go hand in hand, dirt conditioning the feathers and sun creating vitamin D absorbed into the feathers.

    Dirt bathing is an essential facet of a chicken's health. Don't deprive them of it.
     

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