Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken Dust Bath ~ If you build it, will they come?

It was my hope that if I built a Dust Bath for my chicks, they would actually use it.  Having baby chicks with no adult chickens to teach them, means I either have to teach them myself or rely on instinct to guide them.  I had to consider this when I decided to create a Dust Bath in one area of the chicken run.  The ground in our chicken run is covered with small granite rocks.  I figure that eventually the full-grown chickens will have the rocks turned under in the dirt, but until then it is about 1-2" deep in rocks all over the run, leaving no clear area for dust bathing.  I decided to use a cat litter box, one with the lip at the top in hopes it would keep some of the dirt inside.  I marked the outside edge of the cat box and dug a hole in the ground the depth of the box, leaving the lipped edge above ground.

I filled the new dust bath with a 50/50 mix of dusty super-soil left over from my raised bed garden and sand I got out of the wash down the road.  I added some DE (after lots of debate over the pro's and con's of using DE around the chickens).  I used the litter scooper to remove any small chunks of stuff that might be still in the dirt.  To me it looked like the perfect little dust I just hoped they would actually use it. I've heard from other chicken keepers how they went through the trouble of making a special place for a dust bath and the chickens wouldn't use it because they liked a spot under a bush much better.

But two days later...

Isn't that so Cool?!?!  I was just sitting in the run watching the chickens scratch around for bugs and what-not, then one of the Rhode Island Reds wondered into the dust bath box and took a bath!  As you can see in the video, all the other chicks followed her lead and they all took their first dust bath.  Just like human babies, they became all tuckered out after taking their bath so they took a nap...right in the bath!

Sleeping babes after their first Dust Bath!

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
Follow on Bloglovin

Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!