Dust Bath?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RouttyChicks, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. RouttyChicks

    RouttyChicks In the Brooder

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    I want to make an area for my four hens to dust bathe and was thinking i could use one of those tubs like you get from the hospital (you know, the one that is always on the counter in the rooms when you arrive).
    Am i on the right track for such a set up?
    What do i put in it for them to dust bathe?
    Thanks
     
  2. ronmauldin

    ronmauldin Songster

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    Just make sure it is big enough for a couple of them to use at the same time. I use play sand mixed with diatamaceous earth. Helps prevent mites.
     
  3. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

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    A little info on diatomaceous earth: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/diatomaceous-earth-de-benefitrisk.html

    I don't know what the tubs you're talking about look like, but for my hens, I used some old cement landscaping borders that were laying around my yard and filled the area with play sand. One thing I noticed is that when I made it with straight sides, resulting is a square dusting area, they mostly ignored it. When I swapped out the straight bricks for the big curved ones they put around trees, all of a sudden my chickens were interested in dustbathing in it. I don't know if it's coincidence or if they do just like the round shape more. You might even consider getting one of those $5 kiddie pools and just filling that with some sand.
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    Mine really enjoy peet moss and DE combined. I like the kiddie pool idea. Mine will group dust bathe and if there is not any room left for one in line they pick on the ones bathing until they move.
     
  5. K9Dave

    K9Dave Songster

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    I use DE, dirt, sand and Ash's from the fireplace and firepits. Great for parasites and stuff.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    I had forgotten about the ashes part. Good idea.
    Just be sure not to use any from charcoal briquettes since the chemicals in them are not good for the chickens.
    (My neighbor brings me his when he cleans out his fireplace.)
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I think the basins from the hospital are going to be too small, unless you have bantams. My hens like to really flop around, and spa time seems to be a group thing around here....

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    there are two birds in each pic above. I don't have a specific area for bathing, they just use the deep litter inside the coop and the dirt outside. I do dump my woodstove ashes for them to use, but I dump them in the spots the birds have already chosen to use.
     
  8. RouttyChicks

    RouttyChicks In the Brooder

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    Carrollton, Va.
    Thanks for the ideas. I will get a larger tub but wondering if i actually need a designated space for them to dust bathe.
    I have sand in the run and sprinkle it with DE every two weeks.
    I have never actually seen them take a dust bath i don't think, i see them laying in the sand but have never actually
    seen them frolicking in it..
    What is the purpose of the ashes?

    Thanks everyone for your help - i am new at this and only want the best for my chickies!
     
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    The wood ash helps keep mites and lice off the birds and contains trace minerals. Mine eat some of the black bits in it too.
    Do you need a special area for them to dust bathe in? ... No they will make a pit and bathe as needed. I will add though that since you have sand the peet moss may not be a great choice since it holds moisture if it gets wet and the purpose of the sand is to keep it dry in the run. Mine fling it EVERYWHERE.
    Mine also seem to like to dust bathe only when the sun has heated the area well.
    I had sand in a kiddie pool for them and they would not step foot in it. I had it in the run for 4 months and not so much as a foot print. Go figure... silly chickens.
     
  10. K9Dave

    K9Dave Songster

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    It's like buying your dog a new dog bed, they just never want to lay where that bed is placed. Lol
     

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