Why do chickens take dust baths?


Animal Lover Supreme
10 Years
Apr 27, 2009
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?
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.
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.
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.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom