It never ceases to amaze me how great my chickens are at digging holes! They love to scratch around, wiggle down and flap around the dirt. To keep themselves clean, chickens take dust baths. This summer, I’m working on making a dedicated area for my chickens’ dust bath. I’ll keep you posted on if they actually use this area or if they continue to just dig dust baths wherever they want. Haha!
We have a long area along our barn that had been landscaped with landscape rock when the building was first built. When we transitioned into using it for our chicken coop and added a large run, the river rock proved to be a problem. The chickens would kick out so much rock! Then, they’d jump down on the rock and occasionally get injured. So, we decided to take out all of the rock and make an area for them to take baths.
My first step for creating a dust bath area is to gather all my supplies. I plan on repurposing old tires as the dust bath container and will then add dirt, wood ash, sand and Preen Queen. Here are some photos for inspiration to create your own tire dust bath. Almost any tire place will give away tires for free. Some people get creative and will paint their tires to make it into a fun project to do with their kids. I plan to just keep mine black.
Dust bathing is extremely important to your chicken’s health. A dust bath is a great way to keep chickens and their feathers clean to keep harmful mites, lice and other parasites away. That’s why I also add Preen Queen to my dust bath. Preen Queen helps absorb moisture, oils and odors to keep feathers clean and bugs at bay. It also contains peppermint and citronella essential oils, so it’s like sending my girls to the spa!
Providing your chickens with a place to bathe will make them so happy! This is especially important in the winter months if you live somewhere like we do. Obviously, snow makes it more difficult for chickens to dust bathe, but here are some tips for building a winter dust bath for your chickens. Currently, I have a baby pool set up with all the needed dust bath materials, but none of them use it in the summer. Haha! In the winter though, they are so grateful.
Watching your chickens dust bath is a fun, interesting, and even funny event! It’s one of my favorite things to observe out in the coop.
Until Next Time,
–The Wing Lady