Ingredients For Dust Bath?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sorya C, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Sorya C

    Sorya C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, we just got chickens but now we are nervous about mites and lice on our chickens, do you have any favorite chicken dust bath "recipes" that could work for cleaning our chicken and taking off mites? Or do we have to buy the dust? Also do we have to make them take a dust bath every day or once in a while, and how big should our bath be?
    Thank you so much. [​IMG]
     
  2. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens like just plain old dirt. We got some sand recently and I sprinkled a little in there favorite spots to dust bathe.
    You can till up a small spot for them right away, and after that they will keep it tilled up themselves
     
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  3. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2. When we made special places for our chickens to bathe, such as a plastic container filled with dirt and sand, it was mostly ignored and they dug their own bathing areas in the run. We recently got new pullets and did use a shovel to loosen the dirt and shape it a little for them. Ours just take a dust bath when they want to, and have never gotten lice or mites.

    Also, [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  4. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No matter how many areas you provide and they use, they will also create their own areas by digging in the dirt - that's what chickens are like! [​IMG]

    I have a covered dust bathing area that I provided for the girls to use. It started as a bit of dug over earth, and now I throw the ashes from my wood burner into it, which they seem to love, as well as used compost from any plants that I re-pot or throw out. In the summer I sprinkle a bit of permethrin powder on top of the dust bath if I suspect any lice, and the girls dust themselves [​IMG]

    You don't have to show the hens what to do - they will dust bathe as and when they need to. Make an area that will take at least two birds - mine often dust bathe in groups of 3 or 4!


    (Just in case you're interested, I wrote an article about dust bathing - you can see it here.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Pot ash. Yup, just like it sounds- wood ash. People purchase DE (diatomous? earth) to put in dust bath areas or in the coop bedding, etc. but all it's benefit is exactly the same as pure ash from your wood burning stove. As DE is used externally and even internally on chickens to kill eggs of lice and mites so can pot ash. I use a old metal wash bin and only put ash in it and keep it under the coop on stilts. They bath and eat it as much as they find a favorite shrub to dig holes under.

    Another quick and easy way to make a dust bath and clean up your storage area is to use old tires. Lay it down on side and fill with sand or sand and ash or all ash.
     
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  6. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In answer to your question Sorya C, you don't ever need to change the sand / dirt / ash in a dust bath, but you will need to add to it regularly. This is because the birds will kick and flap it out all over the place when they bathe, as well as carrying some of it away in their feathers (note: don't stand downwind of a bird that has just got out of a dustbath - when she shakes herself down you will get a dustbath of your own! )

    My bath gets ash added in the winter (when I use the woodburner) and compost in the spring and summer from all the plants that I pot on in the garden.
     
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  7. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    DRIED HERBS! I'm a huge fan of using herbs in the dirt bathing area along with other places throughout the coop. Lavender, mint, dill, basil and thyme are all my favorites to put in the dirt bathing area. All of these are highly aromatic and good for chicken respiratory systems. Also, these herbs are great for removing/preventing parasites attached to a chicken's skin. Fennel, ginger, rosemary, catnip and yarrow are also great herbs to add to the dusting area.

    As far as what to use for the dirt bathing area, the answer is in the question. All you need is dirt![​IMG] Like the other members have said, pot ash and sand are great alternatives or add-ins as well. And, again, definitely look into some herbs! They work wonders, trust me!
     
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  8. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a great idea Mountain Peeps - I had never thought of adding herbs to the dust bath, but my girls love spending the day hiding under the lavender, mint and rosemary that grow in my garden - why not add a bit to the dust bath? [​IMG] I shall give it a go! [​IMG]
     
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  9. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    Ash and peat moss work great.
     
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