dust bath


9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
hi.does my chickens taking dust baths mean they have mites etc. or do they just like it.
while i'am here when it gets cold .new england. could i give them suet cakes store bought once in a while .
sorry if i should have started new topic thank you

Chickens take dust baths for fun, and to prevent mites. It doesn't necessarily mean they have a mite problem.

You did start a new topic, so there's no need to apologize.
I love watching the chickens taking their baths. The first time I saw it I thought something was wrong, like they were stuck in the dirt or something.

And they love sunbaths, too, they lie on their sides, sometimes it scares me cause they look dead!

Makes me sad to think of all the chickens in tiny cages or in the factory chicken houses that never get to act out this very natural behavior...
Oops, sorry I didn't answer your suet question- not sure if it's good for chickens or not. A little probably wouldn't hurt, but I always think that if we're eating their eggs (or their flesh) we should feed them the healthiest foods we can reasonably provide for them. In winter to make up for less bugs and grass they can find on their own, I supplement them with some cooked oatmeal w/ yogurt. I grow trays of wheat grass for them and my husband raises worms so I sneak some of them to the girls, too.
But I suppose a bit of suet would be a welcome treat, and help them keep warm too
The dirt bath helps to cool them in the heat but it is also just something they
. Mine are out there right now flopping in the sand I just screened...they come and get under my strainer and let the sand flow all over them. Of course, I get a shoe full (and face full) when they start kicking the sand up over them. Baby chicks are a hoot when they take a dust bath in the pine shavings. I gave mine a shoe box with sand in it so they could scratch and learn to take dust bathes.
I put one of those kiddie pools (8"deep x 4'diameter) in and put a good layer of dirt in the bottom of it in the middle of the coop. My chickens loved it. They were in it every day through the winter. Once spring came and they were out again, I cleaned it up and dumped it all out. Guess it's time to get it ready again.
They do that to prevent mites, and also because they LOVE it. It's also a way to socialize. (I imagine them like people packed in a beach)

Isabel, enjoying.....
Mine all take dust baths together in an unoccupied, sandy soil flower bed. They like to to gossip and do each others toenails....leaving me and Dominick the Rooster to find our own entertainment......guess it's a girl thing.


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