Dust Bath

Chickens need to take a bath, in dirt.

Dust baths are how chickens prevent mites and lice from taking hold on their skin and and making them sick. If your chickens have access to a little area of dirt that they can dig up and then throw the dirt around they are all set. IF your birds are in a coop where they don't have access to a little dirt pit you will need to create one for them. Here is what I have done (although my hens have access to the outdoor baths - see above) to make one. I take a low galvanized tub and fill it with a mixture of things: diatomaceous earth (wear a mask when using), sand, dirt, and some fireplace ashes.


Illoura said...

Last winter, my first one with chickens, I placed a used car tire in the coop over newspaper and filled it with fireplace ashes, hoping they would use it to dust-bathe, to fight some boredom being so cooped up. They walked over it but never used it. It made a HUGE mess come time to clean out the coop! Next time, truck tire (bigger) and a plastic lining, and a bit of sand... not sure about diatomaceous dirt needed in winter.

I have a huge question for you- looking back to '09 and '10 when you featured pictures of young cochins- how did you get them? I have only 3 of 7 hens laying any more, and my cochin roo seems pretty clueless in his mounting efforts. One of the layers is his "favorite mount" and I would LOVE to get fertilized eggs! Some people have advocated shaving back the hens' vent area feathers, because for some reason cochins have trouble breeding for various reasons- feathers being one. I'm not sure how to go about this, or if it would help his 'aim'. But I'd be interested in the particulars of your success!
Thanks for sharing.

Red Hill General Store said...

Just adore the photo of your chickens. Thanks for sharing.