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sand or dirt for dust bath

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by annabelle08, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. annabelle08

    annabelle08 In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2016
    What do people use for dust baths? I have nothing but bermuda grass in my yard, no dirt. Can't have them free range. Have looked for sand in different stores, but the only thing I've found is concrete sand. Is that safe? Any dirt in the nursery section has fertilizer in it. any advice would be appreciated. My chicks are 21 weeks and have been laying since they were 17 weeks. Getting 5-6 eggs daily.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016

  2. I bought sand from a rock, sand and dirt place...I also have used construction grade sand...They like it all...Dirt from my flower pots also...I mix ash from my fire pit to keep away mites...They love it...Any type you decide on will work.
  3. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Songster

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    to them. i guess anything that is loose enough to dig down

    my chickens like the garden soil in the raised garden bed

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Truth is mine will use just plain dirt rather then sand. I would just go dig some dirt and save the time and money.
  5. dlp40

    dlp40 Chirping

    Dec 1, 2015
    Florence sc
    Whatever gets powdery fastest is what mine prefer. I have a spot where I dumped some sand and clay and they will jump the fence to get at that stuff when it's dry.
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I was using organic peat moss but need to get more, the chickens have spread it all over now. They also dust bathe in my unplanted raised garden beds which are filled with organic topsoil (just dirt mixed with plant material) plus some stuff I was trying to compost in there (bonus: the compost is getting turned over regularly now!) I personally wouldn't use anything that says "potting mix" or "vegetable/flower mix" since those will have fertilizers added in.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Purchase topsoil from your local home supply store. Place in a large tub that get direct sun during part of day. Make certain it drains well when it rains.

  8. palaeosam

    palaeosam In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2016
    I have a crate of 1kg bird sand, 1kg diatomaceous earth powder from the feed store; 1kg of topsoil; and have bought an incinerator for our unwanted timber, as no one seems to be selling wood ash. The birds have been in it and had a scratch but they've not taken to it just yet. I wonder whether it's the height getting in that bothers them. They're flightless but are good flap-assisted jumpers.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Have you had these birds since they were chicks?
    What is on the ground in their run?
    I'm surprised they haven't dug thru the grass and made a dust bath already.
  10. annabelle08

    annabelle08 In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2016
    First, thanks to all who replied. I have had them since they were 1 day old. Kept them in a 3 ft. tote in the house until I could build a coop and run. I bought the coop kit, and misjudged the room needed in the run. I built a 12x12' run on top of a potion of lawn. They have completely taken out all the grass, but really haven't dug holes for dusting. I have provided a smaller tote for dusting with some dirt from my garden, but don't want to keep digging holes in the garden. It has been raining about 1 day a week lately and the dust box has been getting drenched, and needs new soil. Will be building a bigger coop and addition to the run in the next weeks. Their area will be 12x22.

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