Not Dust Bathing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KikiDeAnime, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. KikiDeAnime

    KikiDeAnime Songster

    Dec 29, 2017
    Battle Ground, WA
    Our 4 month old cockerel Mr Frizz has stopped taking dust baths with his hens. I actually had to give him a quick wash down in our sink yesterday as he had really dirty feathers I hadn't noticed until yesterday. Some of his feathers were actually stuck together in different places and he had a small clump of food stuck on him. Poor guy.

    Is it normal for cockerels/roosters to stop dust bathing?
    Should I keep giving him bathes every 2 days to keep him clean?

    I only have this recent photo of him from when he was 2 months old:
    I'll take a newer photo of him later today.

    Huge thanks in advance!!
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Is he a show or house chicken?
    I would not bath a chicken unless they are extremely dirty/are covered in poop,etc. Bathing strips the feathers of their natural oils. Birds have an oil gland that they utilized when preening their feathers. The oil keeps feathers in condition.

    The hens - how old are they? Are they adults or pullets his age? If they are adults, they may not be allowing him to join in their dust bathing sections but that should not stop him from finding a dust bathing area or dust bathing when they are doing something else. Not all birds dust bath everyday, he may also be growing in some new feather, sometimes they don't dust bath during this time since pin feathers are very sensitive.

    Adult roosters may dust bath with some of the hens, but mine did not bath near as frequently, he was too busy watching the hens, the sky, the yard (patrolling), trying to find some tidbit to get a girl interested, etc.

    I would just check him once a week for signs of lice/mites.
    aart and Flockandfowl46 like this.
  3. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    The roosters here don't dust bath as such. What they like most is slightly damp soil.
    Get the soil just right and you'll have trouble getting them out. The hens here do both, fine ash/dust and soil.
    I agree, you really shouldn't bath chickens in water.
  4. KikiDeAnime

    KikiDeAnime Songster

    Dec 29, 2017
    Battle Ground, WA
    He and his hens are free range.
    We have 9 laying hens and 2 pullets his age. We also have 3 9-10 week old meat chicks and 3 3 week old chicks.
    He only bathes with his 2 favorite pullets that he was bought with as chicks.
    I only gave him a bath because he was extremely dirty and had a small clump of food sticking to him that the other hens were attacking him over.
    Wyorp Rock likes this.

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