Removable Dust-Bath container

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dabloos, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    Hi! I'm brand new to the site. Love to read up on the experiences of others. I have 5 hens. Live in Northern KY. Their house is one of those purchased off the ground types with a metal roof and a wooden nesting area up top. The bottom portion is open with a wire protection around it. It sits inside their run which is chain link 6' high and covered with wire on top. They have plenty of room in the warm weather (about 30' x 10' area) under large pine trees. My question is whether it is ok to put a dust bath container in the lower portion (on the ground) of their hen house when the ground is snowy or wet? I would do that to keep snow or rain out of the container in the winter. Just want to make sure it's not too close to their nesting area. I read something about a concern with their breathing. I use wood ash from the fireplace and have just purchased DE to add to the bath. Pic below.[​IMG]

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  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    If you have concerns, be careful on adding just a little DE or none at all?
    IMO all they need to bathe is dirt or sand or a mixture of those.

    [​IMG] so glad you have joined us.
    You should post an intro under the New Members Forum to get a proper welcoming.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Might be easier to build a shelter over where they usually dust bathe?

    What is your climate?
    Putting your location in your profile can really help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    Coop might be a bit small for 5 birds...but...man, that's a nice sized run!
    Tho I'd be concerned about the netting over your run if you get significant snow load.
    With a small coop, a weather sheltered run space is very important....
    .....especially if you get a lot of snow and don't want to clear ground space in the run.
     
  4. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Looking at your run I notice you have stretched wire netting across the top (good idea!). Is it a heavy gauge, as in not 'chicken netting'? If so may I suggest you install a couple of 2x4 stringers across a section and tie a tarp* across it? This will not only provide a sheltered area where you could keep your dust bath out of the rain but would also provide shelter from rain and a shady area for your birds as well.


    *Use one of the heavy duty tarps, these are usually silver on one side They will better resist UV degradation. Put the silver side facing up.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I use ashes from the stove, also. Main concern is not using them in a tight enclosed area. If they're bathing in them, they're going to breathe in some, but having an open area for the ashes to disperse minimizes what they inhale. So, try to put the pan in an open area. Might need to make a little roof to keep it dry. I'd say mix the ashes with some plain dirt or sand, you'll get more bang for your buck so to speak.

    My birds love the ashes....they do straight for the burn pile when I let them out.....

    [​IMG]

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  6. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
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    Thank you. Yes it is chicken wire up there supported by a few aluminum poles. Our main concern was hawks we have in the neighborhood. We have a privacy fence surrounding our property so I am hoping predators are few in our subdivision. An occasional cat at times. The tarp idea sounds like a good one and I will try it. This is my first winter with these gals. I sure do enjoy them!
     
  7. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    Thank you for the information. It seems that the coop is working out OK so far. I leave the pop door open within the run and they come and go at will. So far no sign of a predator other than an attempted hawk attack last summer while I had them in the yard. Last time for that and that's when we covered their run. I live in the suburbs, no woods around to speak of. I hope they are safe out there!
     
  8. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    Thanks for your post. I read more about the DE and will skip it altogether.
     
  9. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two dust bathing areas that I built...one outside the coop near the garden, one inside the coop, and the unofficial 3rd dust bathing area that they built :)

    In the two I built I used good garden soil (because in GA we have clay and don't want the chickens to turn orange), DE, and wood ash at about 80%, 10% and 10%. You want to keep the wood ash and DE dry or they will not work. Of course my Delaware likes the clay bath and is now orange...lol. The bathing area inside stays dry due to a covered run, and obviously the garden one is exposed to the elements. They actually tend to like the garden one the best for some reason.

    Your run looks nice and big, but I would think about running a few feet of 1/2" hardware cloth around the bottom, then also skirt the perimeter with hardware cloth as well (and maybe try to seal the gaps around the chainlink door). It's very easy for predators and pests to get into or reach through the chain link (weasels, rats, wild birds, etc.)

    I'm in the burbs too but had a problem with rats about a year ago. Could not figure out how they were getting in (I have a very "sealed" coop/run)...finally I saw a rat try to escape through a 1/2" to 3/4" gap in the upper corner of the run (where it met the coop)...could not believe the rat could fit through that gap but it did. I managed to to shoot the rat(s) a few nights later and closed the gap...no problems at all since then.

    [​IMG]
    Inside dust bathing

    [​IMG]
    Garden dust bath

    [​IMG]
    Clay bath
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  10. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    All good advice. Thanks. We will need to make changes. $$ [​IMG]
     

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