making a dust bath

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hennyhandler, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    I have heard and read about making a dust bath for chickens. You can dig out a hole and put in wood ash, DE, and dirt. This is my big question of the day. HOW do you not have water fill up in it. I had a hole dug and had put in a little dirt. It rained and I had a mud puddle. I don't know if the ash makes a difference or if ya'll put it in an area where the rain can't get to it but somehow mine always gets wet no matter where it is. Any ideas or thoughts?

    I know that my chickens make their own little mini spots where ever they please and they don't seem to really fill with water now that I think about it. Unless of course it is REALLY raining. I don't know why that is....

  2. kesali

    kesali Songster

    Mar 27, 2011
    far northern Wisconsin
    Hmmm, can't help you, but a good question. I'm new to chickens and have been wondering about the dust holes, too. Maybe make a little roof over it?
    Also, I can't get wood ashes, anyway. I suppose I could, but I am not sure what a lot of people burn in their wood stoves around here.
  3. Niss

    Niss Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    My chickens have dug their own. They pick dry spots because they want dust not mud...of the three places I've seen them do it only one ever gets wet--the other ones are under the eves on the sheltered side of the house and under a thick tree.
  4. PlayaChicken

    PlayaChicken In the Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    Mine get into my flower containers on my back patio. They make a mess. Dirt everywhere. But they love it.
  5. ltrader

    ltrader In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2010
    We built one from a stacking basket ( little bigger than a kitty litter box, had ventilation holes in three sides and opens in front, but has a lip a few inches high. They were on sale when kids were going off to college) drilled holes in a lid for a storage tub and zip tied the top to the basket, and then fill with dust bath mixture. It stays dry inside, plus I can move it when we rotate the chickens around the yard in their electric fence. They do a lot less damage to the yard ! Sent a pic of it to backyard poultry and it was published last winter in the lettters section, you could look at it if you save old copies of the magazine.

  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I just made a 2 x 2 bottomless box and put it in the run and dumped a bag of sand and later when I saw they were using it dumped in a can of DE. I need to refill it though.
  7. maizy'smom

    maizy'smom Songster

    May 15, 2011
    Philadelphia suburbs
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  8. bgelber

    bgelber Songster

    Jul 24, 2009
    Athens, al
    mine make their own, usually around the eves of the house or around the fence.

    BTW: it was nice to meet you Saturday. The two are settling in could have warned me the pekin bites but I think we worked that out.
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Mine typically make their own dust bathing areas. But I've also used wooden boxes (drilled just a few small holes in the bottom) filled w/sand.

  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Hennyhandler, Really a good question to ponder...:O)

    To keep it dry and dusty, ideally it would be under an overhang or roof. Seems like sometimes, especially when hot, my chickens like it damp and soft dirt. One time my hen looked sooo scraggly after she bathed, she looked like she had been in a coal bin.

    If you move your chickens around a lot, like a chicken tractor or portable coop, then a portable dustbath is a good idea, I just switched from a dishpan to one of those pans that oil is drained into for a car. it is large and round (not as big as a child's sandbox though) and actually has a pour spout. I'm hoping if it gets caught in the rain, I can easily pour off some of the water through the pour spout.

    Love the dust bath picture of teach1rusl's chix

    Great idea from ltrader, is that stacking box permanently covered, that would help contain the the chickens go in and out like some of those kitty littler boxes that are enclosed into a little house like thing?

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