Dust Baths

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FMAFarms, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    439
    0
    109
    Feb 20, 2011
    Rural Michigan
    We're trying to think ahead for our chicks, and we're stumped about dust baths. We read in Chickens magazine to use food-grade diatomaceous earth for the dust baths, but have no idea where we would buy that. Tractor Supply Company? Lowe's? Also, we were thinking of just using a large shallow pan for the dust bath. Does anyone have suggestions as to what else we can use?
     
  2. samanthamick

    samanthamick New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2011
    I have a cat litter pan, I just use regular fine dirt. We have a couple of corn fields around and the dirt is really dusty. My chickens love it.
     
  3. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,341
    35
    204
    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    This is ours in the run:

    [​IMG]

    Its a tire filled with de.oops! need to refill it.Looks low.
     
  4. Rockerchic

    Rockerchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    113
    1
    88
    Jun 23, 2010
    My girls make their own dust bath by digging a hole in the run. It's pretty cute, the way they will line up for their turn in the Hen spa. I don't add anything to it, and just let them enjoy the dust on their own terms. When it's time to change out the straw in the run I sometimes fill in the hole, just to make it safer for me. They will either dig in that spot again, or pick a new spot. I've learned that with all this digging going on, I need a flashlight every evening when I tuck the girls in (close the doors on the coop.) No big problem, and my girls are happy.
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Small kiddie pools work well, too. I have a large black rubber feeding bowl/pan left from when we had sheep. It's not big enough to get a bunch of chickens dust bathing in it at once, but they love standing on the edge of it, especially in winter. Before we covered part of the run, it's claim to fame was that it fit inside the legs of a resin patio table. That kept at least one dust bath dry in rainy weather.

    I put DE in the dust bath at certain times, but only as an additive. I think straight DE would be too dusty for the chickens. It really poofs! Our dust baths are usually a sand or dirt base. Sand is good to use in a dust bath here, as the clay on it's own doesn't drain well and isn't good for dust bathing when wet. One of ours has a lot of peat in it. Sometimes chickens like that. You can also add wood ash, from a plain wood fire, to a dust bath. Everybody has their own recipe. It's like pie. [​IMG]
     
  6. Kathleen1115

    Kathleen1115 Out Of The Brooder

    72
    0
    39
    Jan 21, 2011
    I let mine dig their own too. My GLW is a pretty major digger -- but looking for bugs not to bathe in -- and the others take advantage of the big trenches she makes. I would wait and see what they do -- it's such a natural thing for them -- and then set something up if they don't seem to fend for themselves. But if you have diggers, beware! I have turned an ankle more than once when stepping into some new hole they've dug.
     
  7. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

    222
    0
    99
    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    Mine just dig their little trenches all over my yard.....where plants are supposed to be.....under trees....in places where I used to have landscape bark....SIGH...

    How can I get mad when they look so cute rolling in their little chicken made pot holes?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by