Many people new to raising chickens are not aware of this, but it is one of the most important things chooks should have for overall health. It is as important as food and water!
A dust bath is a way for chickens to stay clean – it is their version of showers in humans. The dust helps remove lice, mite and other parasites which may be living in their feathers and legs. It also serves as a way for chickens to relax and socialize, so they usually ‘bathe’ in groups. If your chooks do not get access to a dust bath, they may become infested with bugs and show behavioral problems.
Dust bathing is a natural behavior which chickens do as soon as they start to develop feathers. If they are free range, you may find that they have already created a dust bath themselves.
Now creating an artificial dust bath for chickens is needed if they are not free range or living in a relatively small backyard with no spot for them to dig and bathe.
There are many ‘recipes’ for creating an artificial dust bath. But basically, all that’s needed is soil containing a relatively equal mixture of sand, silt and a bit of clay – a loamy soil.
The size of your dust bath, on the other hand, will depend on the number of chickens you are raising. As mentioned earlier, they love doing it as a group since it is also a social activity for them. Make sure to build one that can accommodate about three chickens at a time!
Need to make a dust bath for your chooks? Here are some great ideas for you!
1. Old Tires
4. Plastic Bins
5. Kiddie Pool
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