In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 20, 2009
Simsbury, CT
In the summer I've seen the hens roll around in the dirt, which is expected and understandable. But I saw them doing the weirdest thing today, and I'm hoping that someone here can tell me what the heck they're doing....

The snow is melting, it's been rainy, and well, the yard is a bit muddy. Today I saw several of them doing the same thing in the mud that they do in the dirt in the summer. It looked gross! I fluffed up the litter in the coop just to be sure they weren't doing it because conditions were bad (a little too much poop had accumulated under the roosts, my bad, but the litter was fine around the feeder, waterer and nesting boxes - in other words, I don't think they were doing it because the litter is unsuitable to sit on/in..) My concern is that in the summer they do it to stay cool, right? Well, it's obviously not hot now. What's going on?? Can anyone offer advice??

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Chickens don't dust bathe to stay cool so much as to get rid of/prevent parasites. If no dry dirt is available they will use mud. lot of people put a cat litter box with sand inside the coop for them to use during wet weather.
Tammyd57: Thanks for the great idea..I had a problem with my White Leghorn "Lucki" using the feed bowl to take her bath in so I started leaving a small pile of loose dirt on the floor of my coop which quickly disappears after the girls scratch around some. I will try the box with sand and bet they love it!

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