dusting boxes?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ninny, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. ninny

    ninny Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    IL side of the QCA
    as dumb as this sounds i have never heard of dusting boxes before. could someone please explain the whole 9 yards to me. size, how high off the ground, what to use in it? thanks a bunch!!
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    The only dumb question is the one that is never asked! [​IMG]

    I used a cardboard box for a dusting box, the kind that a case of sodas, veggies or beer comes in. You can also just fix them up a dusting area directly on the ground. When I used the cardboard box I just used kids' play sand (from Lowes) and mixed in a little food grade Diatomaceous Earth as a mite/lice/flea preventative, and set it directly on the ground.

    I hope this is some help to you!

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  3. EggCentric

    EggCentric Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Ball Ground, Ga
    I'm getting one of those plastic turtle sandboxes that have a lid on them for a dusting box. Should make a cute picture if it doesn't scare the hell out of them! lol
  4. ninny

    ninny Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    IL side of the QCA
    humm.. sounds interesting. heres another question. if i feed garlic and onions i've heard that this will help keep things from wanting to nibble on them. is this true?
  5. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:Mine weren't scared of the 2 I have in my yard. I use them for flower beds. Of course they ate all the flowers out of them.
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Somewhere I had a whole explanation about dusting, from some scientists doing research on making chickens happy and content. Everything from why they do it to how to make the perfect dustbox was included. Right now, I can't access this data, so let me search the dim recesses of my memory...

    If I recall, dust boxes need to be at least three feet square. Whether they should be elevted or not escapes me at the moment, but I would expect not by much. 3-4 inches at most. You should fill them with clean dry earth, sand and mix some wood ashes into this. Obviously you want to keep them dry, covered even, if needs be.

    The only time this works, though, is if they have NOWHERE else to dust bathe! Chickens are silly critters and often do things their own way. Can't you just imagine going to all the trouble of building a dust box, only to have the cluckers tear up your prize petunias to do their bathing - ignoring your carefully constructed dustbox altogether?

    I've always just left them alone to do their own thing. They inevitably find some place to dustbathe of their choosing, but then I give them WAY more room than most people do. If they are closely confined you will probably need more planning.

    I will search my files later for the scientific details...
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  7. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    They WILL find their own areas to dust bathe. Sometimes it's nice to have a dust bath in a sheltered area for the birds for when it gets too wet in their favorite spots, though. [​IMG] I'm sneaky and find their favorite dusting holes in order to add a few handfuls of food grade DE as well as some wood ashes to them every so often.

    Here's Harvey Ussery's article on making a dust bath for the poultry house. I love his articles. This one was in Backyard Poultry a while ago... I forget what month.

    I'm sure you could get very detailed in your planning; what I can recommend from my personal experience is that

    1. Your bath should probably be big enough for several birds at once, if you have space, because it seems like they like to dust bathe in groups, for some reason.

    2. It should definitely have a lip to reduce the amount they toss out. I suppose it could also be very high, but giving it a lip also provides Gloria something to perch on while she decides how she's going to drive out MayBelle, who's been taking far too long a turn.

    3. I've also noticed my girls like to dust bathe in patches of sun, even when it's quite hot out. I suppose that will only get more important in the winter, so if the bath could be placed in front of a window, it would be the height of luxury, I'm sure.

    Then again, it's just a box of dirt. When the girls were little, they had a fanTABulous time breaking up a couple lumps of clay I brought in for them.

  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    While I respect Harvey greatly, I wouldn't make it so tall. Just me. It works just fine, Im sure.

    The lip is a definite, and should be a part of anything that chickens are going to use, such as feeders, waterers and obviously dustboxes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  9. valmom

    valmom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
  10. FarmerMack

    FarmerMack Songster

    Oct 28, 2007
    Stanford, KY
    I guess thats what my flock of one month old chicks are doing when they seem to be burying themselves in the DLM and rolling around like a puppy dog. All to funny to watch, just figured it was a chicken thing too.
    [​IMG] Farmer Mack [​IMG]

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