Here is my coop and run. The run is 14 feet long. I have six hens. Obviously the run is sort of narrow although it’s plenty big enough overall for my flock. It’s a chicken tractor so I move my hens to fresh grass every 1-2 days. Anyway, what would you say the best way to create a dust bath in my particular run would be? I was thinking of placing the bottom half of a very large cat litter box at the end of the run furthest from the coop and then filling it with... what? I keep reading about different best practices for creating dust baths. I don’t know where I’d get any ash so sand and diotemaceous (sp?) earth sound like the best option for me. Is there a certain type of sand I should get? Like should I get the type suitable for kids’ sandboxes or a grittier variety? Also, I would just remove the dust bath and put it in my garage when the weather turns rainy or bad and then replace it when things dry up. How does this plan sound? All input on this issue welcome.
I have natural, washed river sand from the local quarry in the coop, on the poop decks, in the nest boxes and in the run. Nothing added, except pdz (zeolite) to help absorb moisture and cut the odors. Don’t use playground sand or crushed rock, too much dust and too fine particles. It should look like this:
If you are going to put the coop and run on a well-drained area and leave it, you can just dig down four to six inches into the dirt and put the sand down. No worries. Or you can use a container that’s big enough to allow your birds to “sprawl out” as they bathe. The bigger, the better though - once one starts rolling around, everyone wants to join in the fun!
We have a similar set up. I use a large "under bed" storage container. I have been filling it with 1/2 peat moss, 1/4 sand, 1/4 dirt & last 1/4 DI earth & ash. We then stick it in the back corner by wheels are and support it. Its supported with wood frame(2x4) on the bottom. So when we move the coop it moves with, the peat moss helps to keep it light. The container is about large enough for 2 standard chicken to bath together. I have 2 containers sitting in one other (stacked). They both have holes drilled in them for drainage, between the 2 container I have landscape fabrics(this prevents the "dirt" from falling out, but let's water drain).