My chickies love dust bathing. I have been letting them do it since I brought them home at 1 day old. i have a little area outside to put them in and watch. I have now put a shoe box of dirt in their hutch because when I return to work next week I won't have as much time. Mine are 10 days now.
I have a lot of gophers in my yard so I used some of the dirt that the gophers had piled up around their hole. Seems to be the cleanest. When I put them outside to play in dirt, it is just regular dirt that is in my yard. I have an enclosed area but no top on it when I just put them out so I watch them play. Its cute. Yesterday I was also feeding them bugs, pincher bugs, sow bugs, worms, they loved it and it was so fun watching them chase each other around. Then when I can not watch them I put them in an outside hutch, at night they still sleep in house under lamp.
We put down paper towels over top of the pine shavings litter, in the brooder, for the chicks' first few days. We've noticed that as soon as we get rid of the paper towels and switch them to the shavings, they will start dust bathing in them.
Here are 2 videos of our day olds ( last year) dust bathing...
Hi there, thanks for this info. I also started my chicks on paper towels over the pine shavings, and at 5 days old, I STILL have them on paper towels. It's so easy to clean, just roll it up and put fresh paper towels down. So I guess by doing that they will not have an opportunity to roll around in the shavings like yours do. I'm concerned they'll eat the shavings.
I leave them on the paper toels for 5 - 7 days, it gives them a chance to figure out what there food is and they'll pick at the shavings but it's more out of curiousity than anything. Atleast that's been my experience.
So far, so good, using this method as I just set my 4th hatch in the bator yesterday evening and have yet to have a problem with the chicks actually eating the shavings.
As "new moms" we're apt to worry of everything and t's okay. I worry about the chicks that hatched this weekend as bad as I did when I got my first day-olds last May.
Hi Dawn, it sure helps to chat with people who have similar experiences. I'll leave them on the paper towels then for a few more days. The wire won't hurt their feet, will it?
I'm having a horrible time trying to get hardened poop off one of my chicks. she screams and screams, and makes me feel terrible! i can't get it off her bum and I'm so afraid that in a couple hours she'll try to poop and it will create a plug. I've tried warm water, oil, and just plain pulling, nothing is working. Suggestions?
I put down an old feed bag in my box. It is kinda like plastic and then I can just hose it off daily. They can get poo stuck in their nails too, and they hate it being pulled off. Now I put little sticks in there so they can roost on them and not be in their poo over night, but they laid their heads on them instead. Funny chicks. Just keep wetting the poo and keep trying to get it off, its hard, but eventually you'll get it off.
Not sure what to tell you about the dried poo as I use warm water on a dampened paper towel to remove it. Then I apply baby oil or mineral oil to their bum to keep the poo from sticking.
A friend of ours breeds racing pigeons and he told me to let the poo dry and just tear it off. I don't have the heart to do that so I spent alot of time soaking the dried poo before removing it, last year. It can help to mix a small amount of cornmeal to their feed, it helps stop the pasties.
I've noticed that since I've been hatching my own chicks, I don't have near the problem with pasty butt in the chicks. This leads me to believe that it has alot to do with the stress the chicks go through from shipping.
Hope this helps!
edited to add: I put styrofoam or cardboard on top of the wire floor, in our brooder. I then add a layer of plastic over that. I cut the plastic big enough that it comes up the "walls" of the brooder and tape it in place, then add a couple inches of shavings as the wire floor isn't good for their feet, at all.
Excuse the mess, in the process of cleaning it for the latest babies.