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Is a dust bath necessary if you have a deep litter coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gtaus, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    I am getting ready for my next project, a dust bath. However, before I start, I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time. My coop has a deep litter system of primarily wood chips (4-6 inches deep). Currently, the 10 week old chicks will dig a hole in the wood chips and make their own dust bath. I was thinking about putting a small cement mixer pan in the coop with sand and some DE. But is it necessary, or at least a good idea, given the chickens already make their own dust bathes in the wood chips? Thanks for any feedback.
    JAE1974, starri33, Susan Dye and 2 others like this.
  2. Sagey_7878

    Sagey_7878 Songster

    Sep 1, 2017
    I don’t think it’s necessary as they can just dig and make their own! It’s up to you!
    Susan Dye, penny1960 and gtaus like this.
  3. AltonaAcres

    AltonaAcres Songster

    Jan 13, 2019
    My chickens are free range, and they always find somewhere to dust bathe.
  4. DallasLoneStar

    DallasLoneStar Chirping

    May 21, 2019
    Dallas, TX
    I dont think deep litter with wood chips will provide the bug killing / suffocating benefit of a dust bath.

    I have sand in the run and sand / PDZ in the coop. I have a kids sandbox (one of those plastic ones with a
    lid) with a mix of top soil, sand, and DE and they like it a lot.

    Learned the hard way to need really good drainage after having a dust soup after a storm. Drilled a ton of holes in the bottom then put river pebbles down, pea gravel, then the dust mix on top.
  5. royal willow farm

    royal willow farm Songster

    Feb 23, 2011
    I wold give them some dirt for a dust bath over the summer they need it to cool them of!!! :thumbsup
  6. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Well, I was wondering about the bug killing aspect of just dust bathing in wood chips. I already have the cement mixing tub, sand and soil. I could easily just stop and get some DE at the farm store tomorrow when I go into town.

    I plan on putting the dust bath in the coop, which is covered. I don't think I would need to drill drainage holes in the tub if inside the coop. I am thinking of digging the tub down into the wood chips until the lip of the tub is level with the wood chips. Any thoughts?
    NanaKat, Susan Dye and penny1960 like this.
  7. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

    Mar 29, 2019
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    My birds are not free range. They are dust bathing in the wood chips litter inside the coop. So I was thinking I should provide something better for the girls.
  8. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    Actually wood ash is great bug control they love it I have no floor in 2 coops they do dust bathes any place they want
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I agree, I don't think wood chips are sufficient (or as satisfying) as smaller particle materials like dirt, sand, ash, peat moss, etc. for smothering chicken bugs.

    You use a kid's sandbox like this? I've gotten very good at watching the weather report, so we've been able to keep the bath mix pretty dry. No amount of drainage will get peat moss dry!
  10. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Crowing

    Feb 22, 2019
    Western WA
    I wouldn't recommend DE as a dust bathing medium (or using it in general). The particles are really fine and they're an inhalation hazard.

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