Dust bathing in DE and/or wood ash

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by leight54, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The thought of mites, lice or any other creepy crawlies on my girls is not a pleasant one [​IMG] . So I'm planning to do a pre-emptive strike and offer an occasional dust bath of DE or wood ash - or both. I have read here that many of you do this.

    My question is: Is it better to offer it in a box or some sort of bucket, or just sprinkle it around the run and coop? My thinking is that if I offer it in a box, there is less waste, and it will last longer. I have a small supply of ash available (not a whole lot in the fireplace), and don't want to keep buying DE, if I can keep using it repeatedly.

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  2. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    I'd like to know also... will be watching this one.
  3. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    .....or both?
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Both just make sure the DE is food grade.
  5. bantiesrule

    bantiesrule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2008
    Long Prairie, MN
    During the summer my chickens free range and find their own spot to dust in but during the winter I have a box in their coop for them to dust in. I mix dirt, sand, ashes and DE. I would think just ashes and/or DE would be too light weight for them. They would need something with a little more substance. I would at least add some sand. Just to warn you though; if you do use ashes, your coop will get a layer of dust on everything, and I mean everything. [​IMG] I'll give them some fresh stuff and when I go in the coop later, there's a dust cloud in there.
  6. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! [​IMG]

    Part of their run is under the coop, and stays very dry. I'll try putting it in there to avoid the dust problem. I see what you're saying about it being too light. I'll add some sand, and that should help get the DE and/or ash into the feathers and to the skin, where it will do the most good, right?
  7. DDRLonghorns

    DDRLonghorns Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    Red Oak, TX
    What is the best mix? I'm planning a sand box with sand and DE. Should it be 50/50? Or should something else be added? I won't have any ash until winter time.

  8. tuckertori

    tuckertori Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    If they free range, they will find places in the yard to make their own bath. So far, my girls have made 3 sites and all are acceptable to me. Not sure what I would do if I didn't want them there! Two are in areas where the soil is cool and is nice on warmer days. Today, it is raining and they found a bone dry area under a ledge. They sure know how to take care of themselves. I read on an earlier post to sprinkle DE as if you were sifting from a flour sifter onto wood shavings because it doesn't take much and it is so "dusty." That is what I have done and so far, so good.

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