Dusting baths? what are they? what's in them?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OliviaDeHav, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 5 week olds will be moving into the coop this weekend. What is a dusting bath and what is in them? where do i set this up? Could i use a rubbermaid storage container? The low, smaller ones? like a 3x3 size? Do they poop in it? How often do you change it? [​IMG]
     
  2. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I made a sandbox for my chickens, outside the coop, with play sand, and added a bunch of diatomaceous earth to it. They really like to get in there and dig down and fluff the mixture into their feathers and the DE may help with external parasites, though I haven't had any problems with that, so can't say for sure. Yes, they poop in it, not very much. I just clean it out occasionally (like once every few months) with a small manure fork. Mine is just an old wood frame - I think it was part of an old bookshelf, laid flat directly on the ground. I don't see why a rubbermaid container wouldn't work, though it wouldn't drain if it got a lot of rain in it, so you might want drain holes in the bottom. They WILL dig down into any dirt or sand you have in the run and create their own dustbath if you don't supply one, if they are on dirt, rather than wire or whatever.
     
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    You can use a rubbermaid container but I would suggest something with sides that are a bit higher to keep the dirt in it. I use dirt from our yard that is sifted to get the rocks and stuff out. I also add DE to it to help keep any possible mite problem down. Mine do poop in it mainly because of where I have it in the coop. I just scoop out the poops a couple times a week and add more dirt as needed. Some people will mix in some ashes into the dirt as well. I find that mine will use the tin that I have but they prefer to do their bathing when they are out free ranging. [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If they will have access to the outside at all they will create their own dustbaths by scratching up the grass, ground cover, what have you and using the dirt underneath.
    I have never purposely giving my chicks (or grown birds) a dustbath. My adult birds use the area around and under their coop. The chicks use the shavings in their brooder and now that they are also free ranging part time, an area of the yard where grass doesn't grow.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    They make their own dust baths in the run (or in my case, in the back yard because mine range freely there). HOWEVER, before I started free ranging, and they were confined to the run, I put out two cat litter box bottoms with constructions sand and some DE in them. I placed those under cover, so they stayed dry in rainy weather and were available to them for that purpose when there was nothing but muck in the run.

    They love 'em. These are the ones with lower sides than some cat litter boxes. The cheap ones. They hop in, some perch on the sides, looking around, others dig in it, some "bathe" in it, etc. I replace the sand every few months, just tossing the old sand out of the pans into an area where they like to sun bathe in the run.
     
  6. gutfiddle

    gutfiddle Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:i noticed my chicks doin the dustbath dance yesterday and i was wondering what they did that for, i thought ur gonna get all dirty! but in my ignorance its the opposite.
     
  7. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls and roo free range during the day. They find what they like to dust in and I come along and add DE to it. When my bar-b-que gets too full of ashes I drag it out and dump it in the field. The girls find it and like dusting in it. [​IMG]
     
  8. miladachicken

    miladachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you plan to let them roam in your yard, or put any mulch or loose dirt into their pen? That would probably take care of the problem. Dust bathing is a natural instinct, to remove parasites clense and cool their skin. (Just like in other animals) check out these great pictures! https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=267753
    Good luck with your animals![​IMG]
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Yes, it's a chickens version of pest control. They seem to just enjoy it. Many of my hens go into a trance of sort when dustbathing. I call it finding their "zen". I can walk up on them and they don't even react as if they know I'm there.
    It also removes any dirt sticking to their feathers. Funny, dirt removing dirt but that's how it works.
     
  10. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, it's a chickens version of pest control. They seem to just enjoy it. Many of my hens go into a trance of sort when dustbathing. I call it finding their "zen". I can walk up on them and they don't even react as if they know I'm there.
    It also removes any dirt sticking to their feathers. Funny, dirt removing dirt but that's how it works.

    I have one hen ( i hope it is a hen!) who was laying on her side with her feet all curled up and she was half burried in the shavings in the brooder and seemed like she was in a trance!! i was saying her name over and over and she didn't respond until i took the screen off to give them some sunflower seeds! then she perked right up!
     

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