Dust bathing is a strange activity that chickens do. It is amusing to watch chickens do it, they dust bathe instinctively and they know how to show their keepers that they have a lot fun also while doing it. Many novice chicken keepers can get confused when they are having a look at their chickens having their dust baths for the first time, it is not unusual for novice chicken keepers to get scared for their chickens when they see them dust bathing. But why are they so important and many chicken keeping experts recommend it to be done? This is what we at the typesofchicken.com team decided to share with our readers for today`s article.
Dust Baths – What`s The Point?
Chickens go dust bathing in order to take care of their feathers and skin. The dust they bathe in sticks to their feathers and they absorb the extra moisture their feathers and skin have. Chickens dust bathe also to prevent lice and mites getting in their feathers and skin which can cause a lot of damage to them.
When Does The Dust Bathing In Your Chickens Start?
As soon as they can stand on their feet baby chicks will instinctively toss anything that you use for their bedding over their heads if sand is not available. They dig small holes in their bedding and after they toss their bedding material over themselves, shake it off and sit in the hole they`ve dug up. Although there is no need to let baby chicks and older chickens in the same dust bathing areas you can provide small ones for their brooder or build a moveable brooder and you can place your chicks where you want them to dust bathe.
Your Chickens Will Appreciate If You Provide Them Dust Bathing Areas.
The best material for dust baths and the one your chickens will enjoy the most is sand. There is no reason that you spend money on diatomaceous earth or anything similar. Sand is the best thing you can use and your chickens will enjoy the whole natural dust bathing. Place dust bathing areas around your coop. Use boxes made of plastic or metal where your chickens will have enough room to maneuver and shake while they are dust bathing. Fill the boxes with sand and you have provided dust bathing areas which your chickens will appreciate. Remember to make multiple dust bathing areas – one per chicken is preferable but not necessary.
Dust Bathing For Your Chickens In Different Weather Conditions.
The best thing you can do is use those boxes we mentioned above for many reasons. The most important reason is that you can move them around. In winter those dust bathing areas should be dry so it is best to place them somewhere where snow and rain cannot reach them. In the summer your chickens should have relaxing and regular dust baths – that will not happen if their dust bathing areas are on direct sunlight. It is recommended that you put the dust bathing area somewhere where there is shade so when your chickens dust bathe the heat will not cause them stress.
How do you provide dust baths to your chickens? Share your experiences with us in the comments below or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org