Winter coop dust bath?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Angiebubs, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,331
    58
    206
    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Curious-with winter coming and knowing my chicks won't have as much time outside, I put a large plastic tub (Aprox 3 ft long x 1.5 ft wide x 1.5 ft deep and with about 5-6 inches of dirt in the bottom) of dirt in the coop.

    I am planning on adding peet moss and DE. I'm thinking the ground will be too hard to dust bathe in and I am using the DLM with pine shavings inside the coop. I have a 25 x 35 area so there is plenty of room for this....

    Good or bad idea?
     
  2. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,392
    112
    243
    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    Very good idea [​IMG]
    I do it for my girls too!
     
  3. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,331
    58
    206
    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thanks Pele...Wasn't sure if it would just end upa mess (they love throwing everything around in there-but hoping the sides are tall enough). Does yours getting messy? Do you change out the dirt occasionally throughout the winter? or do they just go in to dust bathe and thats it?
     
  4. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

    699
    95
    181
    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    I dump bags of play sand in every week or so.... They bathe in it until it freezes, then the ritual repeats.....
     
  5. chickengrandma

    chickengrandma Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    3
    103
    Nov 3, 2009
    Wisconsin
    And, collect some soot from your fire pit or grill. Put it in a bucket or container and add it through-out the winter also. They love that mixed in also.
     
  6. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,331
    58
    206
    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    peterlund : Your making me wonder now if the dirt will freeze inside the coop? hmmmm,

    chickengrandma: Good idea-we do a lot of our winter heating via the fireplace....(Where in WI are you? Im central near MN border)

    First year with chickens and excited, nervous, and already worried about it getting cold..and I know I know-read all about how they will be jsut fine-trying to figure out how to make the coop more enjoyable for them...just started my first sprouting of BOOS a couple days ago as well
     
  7. tgblldog70

    tgblldog70 Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    2
    93
    Jul 20, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    instead of sand can we use oder free clumping kitty litter? that wont freeze,but will it do the same job as the sand? just wondering......[​IMG]
     
  8. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    244
    7
    121
    Apr 8, 2009
    Glocester, RI
    I use mostly wood ash from the wood stove and the fireplace in an old kitty litter box. It doesn't seem to freeze and I think it gets into their feathers better, almost like DE. The girls will also sometimes eat bits of charcoal, which I've heard is a good digestive filter. Since I have a raised coop, I keep it underneath out of the weather. They can use it year round with no trouble.
     
  9. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,392
    112
    243
    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    Quote:Yes it gets really messy, and I don't think 10 foot walls would stop my girls from defying physics and getting dirt outside of their plastic unit.

    If it's going directly inside of the coop, you might want to consider putting in sand instead of dirt. Also, I like to actually put sand on the floor of my coop, which eliminates the need for a seperate dustbath, and dessicates waste and moisture (which is healthier for the chickens). The reason I even have a seperate dustbath is because they were digging under my fence in the yard, and poking their heads under to confuse the neighbor. So I blocked them off with my home-made dustbath.

    It depends on your setup, but I love having sand on the floor about an inch thick. The chickens love it too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  10. ODEY587

    ODEY587 Chillin' With My Peeps

    216
    0
    89
    Oct 22, 2011
    i use wood ashes from the stove
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by