Suggestions for a dusting pit for chickens????

brownduck0234

In the Brooder
May 3, 2015
20
1
24
Im kinda new here and only 12.I want to make my chickens as happy and comfortable as possible. I would hate for my chickens to suffer through spring with mites. Since we have a lot of rain the mites are really bad here in the spring. I was thinking about doing a dusting pit for my hens. Im not sure how to do a pit so does anybody have an idea. Im not sure if I should do sand or dirt. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks
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Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,038
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
As you mention a lot of rain being part of the issue, the first thing to consider is where you are going to locate this pit in order to best provide the benefits of being able to dust bathe. If the pit is exposed to the wet, rainy weather, you'll have a mud pit - or wet, sloppy sand. Are you considering/able to locate a dust bathing area inside our coop and/or in a covered area?
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,576
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I use plain old garden dirt in a big rubber tub, which is under the tarped portion of my run. They love it! Some folks add a little DE (diatomacious earth, and I KNOW I spelled that wrong) to the dirt or sand, which is supposed to kill mites and such on the birds. I imagine it does, but after one season of using it I stopped - just didn't want my chickens breathing in something that I have to use a mask to use!

Welcome to BYC!
 

brownduck0234

In the Brooder
May 3, 2015
20
1
24
As you mention a lot of rain being part of the issue, the first thing to consider is where you are going to locate this pit in order to best provide the benefits of being able to dust bathe. If the pit is exposed to the wet, rainy weather, you'll have a mud pit - or wet, sloppy sand. Are you considering/able to locate a dust bathing area inside our coop and/or in a covered area?

I have a spot for inside my coop. Do you think I should use sand or dirt.
 

brownduck0234

In the Brooder
May 3, 2015
20
1
24
I use plain old garden dirt in a big rubber tub, which is under the tarped portion of my run. They love it! Some folks add a little DE (diatomacious earth, and I KNOW I spelled that wrong) to the dirt or sand, which is supposed to kill mites and such on the birds. I imagine it does, but after one season of using it I stopped - just didn't want my chickens breathing in something that I have to use a mask to use!

Welcome to BYC!

Thank you for the feed back!!!! I think I have an Idea of what to do now.
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chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I have a spot for inside my coop. Do you think I should use sand or dirt.

Im kinda new here and only 12.I want to make my chickens as happy and comfortable as possible. I would hate for my chickens to suffer through spring with mites. Since we have a lot of rain the mites are really bad here in the spring. I was thinking about doing a dusting pit for my hens. Im not sure how to do a pit so does anybody have an idea. Im not sure if I should do sand or dirt. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks
big_smile.png

The easiest and cheapest dust bath is a discarded auto or truck tire and the bigger the wheel size the better. Go with an 18 or 20 inch tire size, lay it down on its side and fill it up with sand, and fine hardwood ashes. Hardwood ashes are high in lye. My granny used to make her own soap and she saved the ashes from her fireplace to make her lie from. Lie is a caustic so don't put a pinch between your cheek and gums or get it in your eyes. Other than that you'll be fine. Caustic lye is also used to make natural hominy and corn tortillas so if your mom or dad objects tell them that you'll be careful and not to get upset if you handle wood ashes at 10 years old, all of your children are going to be born naked anyway.

You could also use a demo or reciprocating saw to cut away the upper side wall and this will give you a larger open area creating more of a chicken spa or hot tub. Don't forget to drill about 4 one inch holes through the lower sidewall so if the rain blows in that the lower side wall won't hold water and draw mosquitoes.

Good luck but be safe. You'll do fine.
 
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MrChickenGuy

Chirping
May 24, 2015
39
1
64
Kentucky
I used a plastic concrete-mixing tub from Home Depot to make mine. Really anything with sufficient dimensions depending on how many chickens you have. I mixed equal parts sand, wood ashes, and soil. The soil where I live is VERY clay like so I bought some chemical and fertalizer free top-soil. Just plain soil will work fine, the sand and ash is up to you. Some use DE, I don't feel that they need it.
 

PapaChaz

Crowing
9 Years
May 25, 2010
2,833
626
311
NW Georgia
i used a leftover piece of landscape edging to make a circle and filled it with dirt, mixed in some wood ash from my smoker grill.


and they dig holes in the run floor anyway.............
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