Newbie question: dust bath for my hens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lisebarb, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. lisebarb

    lisebarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello everyone!
    Quick question. I have 4 lovely ladies and I read somewhere here that chickens like to take dust baths. I was wondering how to go about doing this. Their run is caged in so I thought I might get a litter box but I'm not quite sure what to put in the litter box.
    I can get all the sand I want from our beach but I've also read about diatomaceous earth and wondered if I could mix some of that in with the sand (if it's ok to use sand).

    I know it's kind of a dumb question but I'd appreciate any suggestions.
    Thanks, Barbara
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Hi Barbara, and welcome! No, that was NOT a dumb question at all. I'm sure your chickens will enjoy the sand, you can add DE (FOOD GRADE ONLY!!!) and mix in a bag of garden soil (not potting soil, and preferably without added fertilizer). Your post didn't indicate how large an area they're in, but I'm not sure a litter box would be quite large enough. Don't get me wrong; it would certainly be better than not having one at all, but if you could get something a little larger they'd really be able to fluff around and enjoy it even more! (maybe a small kiddie pool with a cover or holes around and in the bottom for drainage, or something like that. I hope you enjoy your ladies! [​IMG]
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Hi and Welcome to BYC! It's a great question and shows you are learning and wanting to do the best for your chickens.

    If your chickens have access to the ground you can just dig out an area and put the loose dirt or sand back into the area you dug out. If you need to use a box type thingy then I'd suggest a small wading pool (like crtrlovr said) or a large plastic container with shallow sides like they sell at Walmart during Christmas for wrapping paper.

    Your chickens will love you for giving them a place to dust bathe.
  4. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    [​IMG] My chickens just use regular ol dirt - it is too cute to see them do it, so you will know eh nyou see it for the first time. Mine dig some pretty good holes.... [​IMG]
  5. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    [​IMG] My girls adore to have a dust bath. I love watching them. It's a real hoot! [​IMG]
  6. Michigan Chickman

    Michigan Chickman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    SW Michigan
    If they have access to the earth I think they make their own dirt spa [​IMG] My girls dig like woodchucks and have no problem creating their own dust pots!
  7. lisebarb

    lisebarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone for the answers! Wow, this is a great bunch of folks and I'm learning so much from you. [​IMG]

    So sand it will be and I do have one of those plastic under-the-bed storage containers that I can re-purpose. The guy at our local feed 'n seed said he sells DE but I didn't know to ask if it was food-grade. Next time I drive by the co-op I'll stop in and ask.
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    First time I saw my girls dust bathe I thought they were having a seizure. [​IMG] They do love their little dirt holes.
  9. redoak

    redoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    I have a cat litter box in my coop filled with wood ashes from my wood stove. One of my hens will lay an egg then dive into the litter box and give herself a bath.
  10. meggers32

    meggers32 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2008
    Mt. Vernon, WA
    I really like this idea and it is a great use for ashes! So, there is nothing dangerous in the ashes for chickens? Is there anyone else who does this?

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