My chickens don't dust bath any more

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Countrywantabe, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Countrywantabe

    Countrywantabe In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    So I decided to reclaim my yard as the girls had destroyed all the flower beds and lawn with their digging and no one liked all the fertilizer deposits everywhere. My father and hubby built a large new coop with a big run and the hens have spent all winter in there. We have filled a large kitty litter box with peat, and Diatomaceous Earth in the coop but have not had any takers on that. They used to love a good old dust bath but now they don't seem in the slightest bit interested. Why would they stop dust bathing? Is the mixture wrong, is it too strange of a container or what? Any ideas? We have a Barred rock, Welsummer, dark and light Brahmas, a black sex link, a Cinnamon queen, a Barnvelder, Australorp, and a Buff Orpinton along with a Silver Laced Wynadote Rooster.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  2. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Songster

    Dec 3, 2013
    Hm. I'm not sure about the mixture, but I know that when we put a mixture of stuff in a big (really big) cardboard box and put it in their run, they were not even slightly interested and eventually dug around and made a dust bathing spot for themselves with the dirt in the run. I let them out in our yard every day for a few hours and stay with them and they have a favorite spot under some scrub oak where you can routinely see 14 chickens wriggling and rolling in the dirt! It's so funny to watch them.

    I think maybe they don't like the confinement of a container because ours really like to dust bathe together and they wouldn't all fit in a box.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  3. cstronks

    cstronks Songster

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    I kind of agree with chicksurreal here. The chickens do not like squeezing into a dust bath in my experiences. They also like to have a say in where they will bathe, and they may just find the spot disagreeable. What you should do is put some DE and peat on the soil outside in the run and they will more than likely dig and bathe in that area.
  4. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Songster

    Feb 16, 2014
    The chickens prefer to find a spot to there liking to dust bathe. Once they do find it and become accustom to using it, it can be hard for them to use a different one.
  5. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    My guess is they need a larger space, large enough for all of them. Mine enjoy community baths as well. My run uses sand as substrate. They're out all day but they return to it to bathe. They pile together and bathe. I sprinkle some DE so that they sort of self treat for mites and lice. Not sure about peat. Why did you go with that?
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I'd recommend digging up a portion of the run, several square feet or so (in a shady spot) and making that into your dust bathing area. Just a few inches deep and they'll take care of the rest. Altenratively, just spread your mixture around and let the flock pick their bathing spots themselves when they feel like a bath. [​IMG]

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