How do you make a dust bath?

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by chook rescuer, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. chook rescuer

    chook rescuer Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2013
    Manawatu, New Zealand
    I have four chickens an I have heard/read heaps of stuff about dust baths an wonder wether it is necessary, do the chickens like it and how exactly do I make one.
    How, where, with what, is it worth it and how do I maintain it?

    Thanks for your time! :thumbsup
    kayceb likes this.
  2. NosiphoChooks

    NosiphoChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2012
    Well my chickens just tend to use the floor of my greenhouse, since its so dry in there they have a ready made dust bath! However lots of people do make their own dustbaths. I'm not 100% on the materials used. You would have to put it somewhere that was covered or make it its own little cover, any moisture gets in there then its not much of a dustbath! Sorry I couldn't be much help, heres a photo of my chickens dustbathing to make up for it -
    kayceb likes this.
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    They will make one themselves in the warm dry weather - if they free range.

    If they don't have access to dry dirt, you can use a big bowl and add a few inches of find sand or dry earth.

    The chickens don't need a dust bath - but they will be more healthy with one because it helps clean parasites out of the feathers and also cleans the grease out of the feathers - keeping them nice and fluffy!

    Dust baths are also good fun for the chickens.

    You can also add some anti mite powder to the dust bath, then when the chickens roll about in it they will give themselves a de lousing!
    kayceb likes this.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chickens will dust bathe in all sorts of dry materials, soil, pine needle duff, garden mulch, on blankets, even as chicks in the shavings in their brooders.

    In the winter, I keep a large kitty litter pan filled with plain old all purpose sand in a corner of the coop. I just sprinkle DE over it every now and again.
    kayceb likes this.
  5. ChickenJohnJr

    ChickenJohnJr Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 10, 2013
    Crescent Iowa
    What is DE?
  6. ChickenJohnJr

    ChickenJohnJr Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 10, 2013
    Crescent Iowa
    Great pic!
  7. ChickenJohnJr

    ChickenJohnJr Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 10, 2013
    Crescent Iowa
    Mine like it a lot they spend most if the day in it.
  8. GatsbysGirl

    GatsbysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    Central Illinois
    Diatomaceous Earth. You will want the food grade kind. I buy mine at my local feed store.
    kayceb likes this.
  9. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Be really careful with DE. I was really paranoid about getting mites so I was putting it everywhere including their dust bathing holes. When they dust bath, they kick dirt right into each others faces. They could move. But they seem to like to dust bath right next to each other.

    Well, I had two birds develop a respiratory condition. Treated with antibiotics to no avail and eventually lost both birds. A necropsy done by students at UC Davis showed they have inflamed lungs from inhaling silica or DE.

    I can only guess that I put too much DE into their dust bathing holes and they inhaled it as they dust bathed together. That was 6 months ago and I still feel just awful. They were BEAUTIFUL big Buff Orpingtons.

    I've done a bit of research and there are some who say that DE is not necessary in dust bathing areas. But I also know that LOTS and LOTS of people put it out without issue. So I'm just saying to exercise some caution. A little goes a very long way. Like a teaspoon worth in a BIG dust bathing area is probably plenty to keep mites at bay.

    I don't want anyone to go through what I went through, holding their beautiful BO hens in their lap while they gasp to breath. Just heartbreaking.
    kayceb and Kris64 like this.
  10. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2011

    You pick up a green turtle pool from the local Goodwill and drop it in the run. Then fill it with whatever you have handy that the girls might like to kick around in. Mine is currently full of sawdust/shavings/DE. Maybe in the spring I'll toss in a bag of sand and some fireplace ash.
    kayceb likes this.

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