Dust baths in winter


Premium Feather Member
Hi everyone, just wondering what you all do in the winter for dust baths for your chickens with snow on the ground and freezing temps. Do your chickens just dust bathe less? Mine have been loving the warmth and free ranging time to dust bathe but they will be spending more time in the coop and run once temps fall and snow comes.


Premium Feather Member
I set up a snow cover for their favorite dusting spot in the run. Just a simple sloped roof screwed to 2 saw horses. The saw horses keep it stable and another side can be added to keep blowing snow out of the dusting space.

This year we finally roofed the big run.....I am hoping it helps.
Do you have a pic of your set up by any chance? Would love to see this

Sally PB

Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
Belding, MI
I plan to put the big washtub of sand that is the chickens' dust bath in the southeast corner of the run and put some clear tarps around the outside of the fence. The east side of their run will be close to the garage, so a strong south wind will be what I have to protect against. I have heavy duty tarps for roofing over the run now. If that isn't enough, I'll put some kind of shelter around it.


Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
I position a metal wash tub in pen such that it is protected from rain / snow and is struck by direct sun for at least a couple hours each day. My birds do most of their dust bathing when in direct sun, especially when it is cold. About 4 inches of soil (silt-loam) is used. I also like to add ash from fire pit as the birds seem partial to dust bathing in that anyway. Owing to the way I think dust bathing works, diatomaceous earth (DE) my actually have benefits when mixed into the dust bathing material. No science to support of refute anywhere.


Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Mine just have to dust bathe less. My dust bath materials will stay dry as long as it's closed, so I can't open it when it's raining. And if there's snow, sometimes I can't open it due to snow piling on top (I tend to shovel snow on top of it in favor of clearing out access to the run door).


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
Mine have an area(4x8') in the run that's under the coop, I add a wind block in winter on the most exposed side(north), it stays dry enough under there to not freeze.


In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2020
Interesting post.

Do they tend to dust bath less in Winter? I built a shelter area for them and turn it over daily but they seem to be using it less. From daily to maybe twice weekly at best!

So was starting to worry.

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