So much variance in what should be included in dust bath

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DreamsInPink, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bought the 'kids' a little pool that I intend to fill with whatever is best to use for them to dust bathe in. I plan on putting it in the open area underneath the coop to keep it out of the weather.

    I've been doing a lot of reading trying to learn what to use, besides just dirt.

    First I was gung ho about using DE, wood ash and fine sand and maybe some plain dirt. But I've read some negative things about using DE and wood ash and even the sand. :idunno

    What do you use? Recommend and why? Thank you.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Do they not have access to just plain dirt? My chickens have little craters all over the run, and out and about where they free range. In my opinion, just letting them dust bathe naturally is the best.
     
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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would use a mix minus the DE. The ash need only to be a peppering. Overall I like the mix to approximate a silt loam.


    I have spent a lot of time watching free-range chickens dust bath in areas where they have lots of choices with respect to locations for dust bathing. When given lots of choices they like dry, exposed soil that has a range of particle sizes. They seem to prefer locations close to cover that are also exposed to full sun while used for dust bathing. Such areas also appear warmer than average with respect to surroundings.
     
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  4. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps


    They do have some, but it's wet right now, due to all the rain. Their run is full of grass and weeds, so not a lot of dirt. Should I mow it?


    Hm, I thought they'd rather have a place out of the sun, to stay cool. But I guess that'd only be in the summer.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Potting dirt mixed with sand being your making a dusting zone.
    Mine use what ever dirt they find while free. Or the sand in the run or the shavings in the coop.
     
  6. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, that might work, I never really considered potting soil. My dirt here is clay... so probably not real conducive to dust bathing.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    You really dont need to make one at all.
    They will scratch away and make their own...I use sand in my run. I have 32 4 week old chicks this year and they have mines all over my run.
     
  8. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I also don't really want them tearing up any more of the vegetation than they have to. I was hoping if I made them a place to dust bathe, they'd use it more. As I said, I don't really have a lot of just dirt... it's grass. Plus, under the grass is lovely clay.
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Sand where you want then to dust bath. other than that they will do it where they like too.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The sunllight helps dry the the soil. Sunny locations can mean more potential dust bathing days under conditions where soil is periodically wetted by rain or seepage.

    As they sun bath, they temporally open up feather layers so soil particles can get all the way to skin where they come into contact with parasites the chicken is trying to dislodge. Opening up the feather layers disrupts the insulatory value of the feathers. On really warm days the exposure is not an issues but with my birds, especially immature birds, cold is anything cooler than about 80 degrees F.
     

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