Hens and Roo digging large holes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dianehodges, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2010
    In December I purchased 3 hens and a rooster, all dominickers. The hens are laying almost daily but I have noticed they are digging holes and laying them. Sometimes they fluff around in the dirt. I have them in a pen but they access to the outdoors also. I clean the pen at least twice a week and put pine shavings on the floor. Should I clean the pen less and is this normal behavior?
  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    They are giving themselves dirtbaths. They love to do this. Mine normally due it in their run but if it is raining outside I find them doing it in their coop. I think it helps them keep clean. Might be wrong on last part.And [​IMG] from Ga
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  3. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2010
    I appreciate the info, thanks

    one dog, 2 cats, 1 rooster and 3 hens
  4. kandooshe

    kandooshe Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's a natural behavior called dust bath, ,, keep forward
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Dust bathing does help with parasite control. Even chicks will "dust bathe" in the shavings in their brooder.

    My front yard looks like a moonscape, with chicken fox holes where they have dug their dust bath spas. They will do it in the coop, too, especially if the weather outside is wet.
  6. sunnyvera

    sunnyvera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2010
    NE Ohio
    In my large run I have put in a const. sand box in the corner - looks much like a child's sand box. Not fancey just 2x4's nailed together. Perfect for dust bathing. It discourages holes all over too. Maybe you can try it.
  7. Kathleen1115

    Kathleen1115 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2011
    Ours make dust baths too, but they also like to dig for worms and other bugs. They are also very happy when I rake their yard and cover up the holes they've dug -- just more for them to do and new things to find! They really seem to like to be busy.
  8. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    Mine prefer to use any semi-bare spot for their dust baths [​IMG] I'm constantly filling holes throughout the yard where the grass was just a little thin & the silly things decided it was perfect for a bath. I've started using large tree branches over the holes to discourage them, plus they've got a hole by the house they can use, along with in their run. Last time I thoroughly cleaned their house out, they were all having great fun diggin in the newly-uncovered dirt & taking baths [​IMG] They were'nt very happy when I kicked them out & covered it back up with straw [​IMG]
  9. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
  10. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    Perfectly normal for the chickens to be digging holes. Just wait 'till warm weather! They will have little basins dug al;l over your yard and gardens. Mine love to dig nice holes, then dirt bathe, then take a nap in the sun Especially if we are sitting or working outside.

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