Why do chickens take dust baths?

astylishgirl

Animal Lover Supreme
10 Years
Apr 27, 2009
915
6
141
Beaumont, Texas
We just moved our 5 juvi Ameraucanas and 4 juvi Dominiques (which may actually be BRs) out to their new coop. Their big girl coop! Well, the first thing they did was start frantically taking a dust bath... and they haven't quit! They are all covered in dust. They are even rolling in it!

Why do they do this?
 

Davaroo

Poultry Crank
12 Years
Feb 4, 2007
5,517
103
308
Leesville, SC
Dust bathing is:

Social - it's sort of like a chicken wading pool.

Healing - controls the aforementioned bugs.

Cooling - A hole in the earth is cooling.

When they have their favorite dusting spots, toss a little DE and/or wood ashes into the hole.
 

Kim_NC

Songster
10 Years
Jan 27, 2009
2,044
12
181
Mt Airy, NC
Yep...all of the above


At the moment I've got some 8+ week olds and some 4 week olds with their own style of 'dust bathing'. When I open the outside door each morning, they get on the doorstep - or a few inches past in the gravel - and then sprawl around as if they're dustbathing in the morning sun. I call them "you silly kids" every morning while feeding/watering the others.
 

mamaKate

Songster
11 Years
Sep 9, 2008
1,113
6
161
SE MO
Mine don't do it. They also never scratch or dig ouside. I think I kept them inside too long.
 

LauraM

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 7, 2009
66
0
29
Everett, WA
Mine have a preference for potting soil. Today they found some in the yard from a pot that got dumped out last fall and haven't left. They like ashes, too, I just don't have those available in the summer.
 

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