How can they take dirt baths when there's snow on the ground?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jahphotogal, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

    242
    4
    83
    May 15, 2012
    CT
    My girls woke up this morning to find 4 inches of snow in the yard, and they don't like it! They've ventured out a bit to get some seeds I scattered around, but otherwise are hanging back in the coop/run. They live for their dustbaths - will they be OK if they can't take one between now and April, or should I find a way to give them a pile of dirt?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] My dirt bath consists of a really cheap kiddie pool filled with black earth, wood ash (from a wood stove or fire pit (camp fire), and lots of feathers (okay so the last part isn't necessary, but they have tons of feathers in that dirt bath lol).
     
  3. CHICKEN CRAZY1

    CHICKEN CRAZY1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    O.k. I am not a chicken owner,(yet)so even thought I know some things about chickens,
    I do not have a real owners experience like you do,so anything I say may happen or may not.
    Chickens dust to get rid of vermin,such as ticks fleas and mites.
    I would say in the winter,the cold kills those vermin like other animals.
    If do not want to do this keep a kiddie pool or box full of dirt if they need/want to dust they will.
    This is all I know about dusting.
    Use which you think is best.
    And tell me about it,may widen my knowledge as chickens.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  4. denmage

    denmage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I built a dirt bath that I saw mentioned on here. I placed an old tire on top of a small sheet of plywood and put play sand, fireplace ash, and diatomacious earth in it. My coop is a little over a foot off the ground, so I slid it under and enclosed the area under the coop with hardware cloth, connecting it to the run.

    When the snow was coming down yesterday, I actually had to chase them out from under the coop to get them back into the coop. I was afraid if I waited too long they might find themselves trapped under the coop. But this morning they were all fine and accounted for.

    Having the dirt bath under the coop helps a lot to protect it from the elements, so it doesn't become a mud bath.

    One thing I noticed about the hardware cloth around the bottom of the coop was that the snow was building up on it pretty quickly; forming a natural barrier. I think that might be why they chickens didn't want to leave the area under the coop. They were actually protected from the elements where they were and were quite comfortable. But I keep the food and water inside the coop and would rather they go back inside when the weather gets rough.

    I hope that helps.

    Denis
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    This is exactly what I did when I had only 4 chickens :thumbsup Worked well. Unless the chicken was fat :lau [​IMG] I didn't protect from the elements, but this is what I used in their run. For the winter they had a rubbermaid tote. [​IMG] If you do the second option, cut with better precision than I did :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  6. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

    242
    4
    83
    May 15, 2012
    CT
    Thanks for all the great suggestions!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by