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Why do my chickens roll in the dirt

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FresheggsDoug, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. FresheggsDoug

    FresheggsDoug New Egg

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    My gals come up by the house when there free ranging and take dirt baths is this how they clean themselves?
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Dusting is a chicken's favorite past time. And yes it is how they clean themselves. After rolling all around in the dirt they will thoroughly preen themselves. Then they are ready for what ever life brings.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Dust bathing helps to keep the skin and feathers in good shape. The birds will cover themselves with dirt and then preen it all off. This strips all the oils off the feathers and with their preen gland, they replace the oils as they groom again. This dirt also helps to repel bugs. Keeps them healthy! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. As others have said dust bathing helps to remove skin particles and perhaps even some parasites. Some wild birds even dust bathe in ant hills where the formic acid is a parasite repellant.
     
  6. chickiechick72

    chickiechick72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Is it OK to sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth in the areas where they dust bathe? I have been sprinkling it all around the yard to ward off ticks and fleas. I'm just not sure if it might be very drying to their skin?
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Yes, you can throw a small handful in the dirt where they dust bathe. Not too much, as it can irritate the lungs, but a tiny bit will definitely help to kill off those buggies! :)
     
  8. FresheggsDoug

    FresheggsDoug New Egg

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    Hey everybody thanks for the great info. It looked pretty natural for them so I was sure OK. But it's nice to know exactly what there doing. As always this community always deliverers. Thanks again.
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
     
  10. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The 1st time my chickens did that in the back yard, I screamed for my DH! I thought they were having some sort of seizure! [​IMG] He still thinks that is a funny story. Welcome to BYC & enjoy your chickens.
     
    1 person likes this.

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