Waterproof Dust Bath for Winter

cherylgladys

In the Brooder
May 17, 2020
43
54
46
Sacramento, CA
Hi there chicken lovers! I am concerned that come the rain, my girls will not be able to take their normal dust baths. I read that you could cut the side of a big bin for them to walk in and fill it with the proper dirt, and and DE . Any ideas of what some of you have done would be great!
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
15,054
47,052
1,207
Melrose Park Illinois
First,,,,, chickens do not need to take a bath each day!!!. You can try and make a covered bath enclosure, Not sure chickens will favor such. :idunno If it is just a covered portion in your run, with open sides, I think that would be preferred.
Use potting soil that is not enhanced with fertilizers as the top choice for dust bath medium. (chosen by my chickens when no ashes present) My chickens LUV:love:weeashes from my campfire pit. I have a section of run in sand. They do scratch there, but do not choose to bathe there. :idunno They prefer earth soil when in run.
I don't think DE is necessary. I am careful using DE, and only place a thin layer as base in the coop floor. Then a thicker layer 1/2 inch or so of Sweet PDZ, on top of that. Followed by a generous layer of hay.

Read the cautions on DE. Not good to breathe the dust for humans. I always used a mask, even before Covid came to being. (the 2 have nothing in common) If DE is bad for my lungs, I suspect it not being very good for chickens lungs ether.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:highfive:
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KarynVA

Songster
May 29, 2020
230
575
133
SW Virginia
I agree to be cautious with DE. I choose not to use it. I made a small dust bath in a cat litter box, which I keep inside their coop. It has a mix of garden soil, sand, and campfire ashes. I have rarely seen my chickens use it, even when I bring it outside on sunny days.
🤷‍♀️

They do use it occasionally.

But mostly they prefer to roll around until they create a bowl in the dirt in their run and they 'bathe' there, even though it is often damp, hard, and not dusty at all. I always tease them that I went to all that trouble to give them a proper dustbath and they turn up their beaks at it!
 

cherylgladys

In the Brooder
May 17, 2020
43
54
46
Sacramento, CA
Thank you for the tips. I actually use a little sand, maybe some ashes, yard dirt, and I have been putting in a little of the product called Saturday Lime. It's great. I just saw an idea on Pinterest and you get a large clear bin, cut an area where they can walk in, fill it about 6 inches or more of the dirt mixture and keep the top on it. Not sure my girls will use it, but might work for winter rain from getting in. I will also make an area inside their coop area as well, hoping it doesn't get damp in there. It's my first year of winter with them, so I am just learning how this will all work. I am tarping the top of the coop area so rain doesn't creep in. We shall see!
 

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