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Solutions needed on dustbathing!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tanith BHH, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Tanith BHH

    Tanith BHH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone.

    I am going to be covering my chicken run this week so I won't have a problem about mud, which I have had since we moved to the new house. However, at the moment my hens have a small shelter in their area and the soil under it is nice and dry. I thought they would use the dry soil to dust bath in but it has become all compacted so there's no chance of dustbathing! So I placed a wooden box under it filled with loose, dry soil. My hens used this for about a week before there was no more soil in it. It is raining often now and there is no dry, loose soil to be found! my hens have tried to dustbath in the semi - dry soil but they have looked awful when they have come out (particularly the white one!)! I feel really bad and though I'll be covering their area this week I think the ground is just too solid. So, I need a solution!
    Can people please post up there ideas or show pics of their solutions? It would be a great help, I feel so bad about not providing my chickens with anything to use for dustbathing.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tanith[​IMG]
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Take a shovel and loosen up a small area of soil under the shelter. Adding some sand to the dug up area may help keeping it loose.
     
  3. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We built a sandbox for our flock and placed it in the run. There is a soil and (primarily) sand mixture in it. - keep a large clay pot with the same mixture in it on the covered porch. When the chickens sling out a noticeable amount into the run, we shovel in more from the pot. If it is really soggy out, we tarp the sandbox. (We, however, do not live in an area that receives rain for days on end.) You might consider making or purchasing a sandbox with a simple cover/roof if the weather is rainy for extended periods of time.
     
  4. Tanith BHH

    Tanith BHH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for the advice.
    I'm going to try loosening the soil first, but if that doesn't work I might try the sand box. Do you buy the sand? If so, is it expensive to keep refilling the box? How high is the box? if I made quite a deep one would they still use it (less soil would be kicked out)?
    Has anyone got any other ideas too?
     
  5. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought some sand/soil mixture at the hardware store in the garden center. It is about $2 for a 50 LB bag. We've had our sandbox filled once, and added extra about two times. After 6 weeks, we have only used a bag and a half (about a bag and a quarter to fill, and about a quarter added over the six weeks on a few occasions.) Our box is about 10 inches deep and is filled to about 8 inches deep. -works well! I would think if you created a box with more depth, they would not be able to throw the sand out as easily. -best of luck!
     
  6. Tanith BHH

    Tanith BHH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok sounds great, looks like that's the solution. I'll have to build the sandbox first, unless I buy one, but I'll let you know how I get on. I could maybe find some other thing that will work.
     
  7. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

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    We've always had to take the hoe and work dirt loose after rains in our run areas. Using this method will also let the soil try much quicker.
     

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