Author Topic: Dust Baths  (Read 3192 times)

Andrew Johnson

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Dust Baths
« on: May 31, 2016, 09:59:24 AM »
I was searching the forum and did not see anything mentioned about dust baths and decided to start one. I have old tires I put underneath the coops for them to get in. The dirt around the house is very sandy so the chickens tend to like it. What are some things that yall add to your dust baths?

Tailfeathers

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 05:47:43 AM »
A couple of years ago I picked up one of those turtle sandboxes at a garage sale for $5.  Filled it with a mix of 50/50 play sand and DE.  I also add wood ash from my pellet stove.  Here in WA it's nice to have a cover I can put over it.
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Linda Ferguson

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 12:37:29 PM »
Wood Ash is what I sometimes add to their dust baths.  But mostly they use plain old dirt.  Even though I have a good quality Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth which is the type to use, I'm learning that Diatomaceous Earth can also kill Honey Bees.  I use DE cautiously and away from the garden and other plants.  I also worry about chickens breathing in DE or getting it in their eyes.  Linda

Beth Curran

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 01:59:21 PM »
I'm learning that Diatomaceous Earth can also kill Honey Bees.  I use DE cautiously and away from the garden and other plants.  I also worry about chickens breathing in DE or getting it in their eyes.  Linda

I have some of the same concerns. I have to admit I was glad I had a bag of food grade DE on hand the other week when ants found their way into a 40# bag of dog food, but I've never seen any evidence that natural insecticides discern between good and bad insects any more than traditional ones,  and spreading that stuff does a number on my lungs/throat/eyes/sinuses, in spite of wearing a handkerchief, so I use is sparingly with the birds. But I really like the idea of mixing it with sand, which seems like it would help to reduce the amount that becomes airborne.
Beth Curran

Andrew Johnson

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 11:10:38 PM »
DE is a soar subject. Do I use it, yes. But very sparingly. More like a light sprinkle and immediately stirred in. I do agree that it kills honey bees. It pretty much kills any bug, good or bad. Wood ashes are also used when we, here in Alabama, aren't under a fire ban. Which happens often during the Summer months and occasionally during early Fall. We do also add sulfur as well, but only when needed.

Beth Curran

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2016, 11:19:00 PM »
when we, here in Alabama, aren't under a fire ban. Which happens often during the Summer months and occasionally during early Fall.

Same here - it seems like it's either raining and too wet to burn, too windy to burn, or we're under a ban. I have a brush pile from last year that really needs to go!
Beth Curran

Suki

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2016, 03:58:37 PM »
I was browsing through Chris Graham's book on Keeping Chickens when I spotted this on dust bathing.  Thought this may of interest.

Sue Paolini

Lance Capozella

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 09:14:24 AM »
My birds are in a run and I just built a roofed open bottom box and filled with washed beach sand.   I've also added wood ash and when I don't have time to get more sand I put some potting soil from the local hardware store.  It's an organic soil with no added fertilizers or fillers.  I have added food grade DE but mix it in immediately and only when I notice any find of "bug" problem. 

The funny thing is half the time they dust bath under the coop in the dry dirt.  Funny how chickens choose to do things like that.  You set up a perfect spot to dust bathe and they decide to go use the soil that you know has dried poo in it.   ::)

Andrew Johnson

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 07:31:27 PM »
The funny thing is half the time they dust bath under the coop in the dry dirt.  Funny how chickens choose to do things like that.
This is exactly my thoughts of why I decided to put mine under their coops. I placed the dusting mixture in old tires 2/3 buried so the rain runoff wouldn't be a constant problem.

Lance Capozella

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016, 08:50:45 AM »
Who knows maybe the poo in the soil has something in it that helps get rid of pests and thats why the chickens go under the coop half the time.  Maybe the ammonia?  We do use that as a cleaning agent so possibly it helps with lice, mites, and other crawlies.  They do like wood ash which people use to make lye soap.  Kind of makes sense that the chemicals in the deteriorated poo may have something beneficial in it that they use to get clean.  Yeah "clean".   :P  I might even try throwing some of the "chicken dust" from under the coop in the sand. 

Suki

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 12:50:21 AM »
They do like wood ash which people use to make lye soap.  Kind of makes sense that the chemicals in the deteriorated poo may have something beneficial in it that they use to get clean.

Good point about the wood ash, I think you're unto someting.

Rebecca G Howie

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Re: Dust Baths
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 08:05:11 PM »
They do like wood ash which people use to make lye soap.  Kind of makes sense that the chemicals in the deteriorated poo may have something beneficial in it that they use to get clean.

Good point about the wood ash, I think you're unto someting.

A friend saves some wood ash for me when they burn brush. Make sure it is "clean" wood, meaning no treated wood or other stuff that makes toxins. Wood ash is also a great fertilizer for many plants, especially bananas