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Chicken Dust Bath - Benefits

Now I am no professional but I know a healthy chicken makes for a happy chicken, and a happy chicken lays more eggs:) Now me wanting more from my feed investment I try and make sure my girls have the best health not only from organic nonGMO chicken feed, but I also want to make sure they do not have anything to harm them and that is why I wanted to touch on some of the benefits to dust baths for your chickens so you can have the same blessings as I have. I mean, fresh eggs just about everyday is so awesome and my chickens are great help in the garden! 

 

Dust bath Benefits

Encourages them to Clean
When they jump in the dust they have a blast! But that's not it:) The dust soaks up all the oil that can built up on your chickens feathers. It also helps with removing feather flakes and dander because your chickens will actually preen more often when they take dust baths on a regular bases! While preening they will your chickens will oil there feathers by reaching back to the top of there tail pad. There is a oil gland there and they use it to cover there feathers with just enough oil to keep there feathers nice and water proof and looking clean. 

Avoid Parasites 
Yes, dust baths help control parasites naturally! You just need to add stuff to the dust bath that can really take care of all mites and lice that your chickens can get. No, chicken lice is not the same as human lice;)

Happy Hens
Stop and just watch your girls. They love take a dust bath don't they? I know mine do! The dust can be something that can really bring your hens peace and relive stress! Less Stress = Healthy Chickens!! It can also cool them off. It is funny when they are ALL doing it, dust flying everywhere! Ha ha ha!! 


Build it

Bath Area
I am going to be building a dust bath soon for my chickens pinned area but for now I just provide an area and add what will help them in killing off parasites and keeping them away. 

Scrap Wood
You can build a dust bath box for cheap! Just use scrap woods but try and be sure it is at least 6" to 8" deep and big enough to fit your birds. I will be making mine big enough to fit at least two chickens at a time:)



What to fill it with?

  • Grab some soil from your garden. 
  • You can add sand to make it a bit more dusty. 
  • Wood ash is very harmful to parasites. Just burn some leaves and let the ash cool before adding it:)
  • Food Grade Diatomacious earth (DE) - This is a fossilized diatoms that are microscopically sharp! When they are eaten buy most bugs they will kill them by cutting the guts of not only mites, but lice as well! It does not hurt you or your chickens so don't trip:) A little goes a long way! 
The more your girls are confined to a small area, the more likely they are to get mites of lice. Let them out as much as you can and keep things clean and dry. Make sure to add the dust bath and your chickens should be styling!!

Well friends, I hope this helps some of you guys out there. If you need help or want to ask questions go right ahead here or join us on facebook.

God Bless - Matt

26 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your posts. I knew about the D.E. but did not know about the ash! I also really enjoy your free books. Please keep the great advice coming!

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    1. O thank you!! We will have a new very interactive site soon:) I am hopping everyone will enjoy it!! DE works great but so does ash!!

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    2. The ashes work great in gardens too. Fertilizer and repellant.

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    3. The ashes work great in gardens too. Fertilizer and repellant.

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    4. The DE is not eaten by the bugs. It cuts up their outsides.

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  2. charlotte hart estessJuly 3, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Loved this info, thx so much, I feel like when we finally Get ready to have chickens, I'm gonna be prepared! :-) I'm so excited to get some. Any kind you prefer? Do u have coop build plans? Do u order the scratch n feed online? Thx 4 ur help :-)

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  3. Good information, but a difficult read. Please proof read for grammar and spelling Matt. Your career as a blogger will take off.

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  4. Replies
    1. Are you meaning sand? Send does not compost because it is basically rock but you can add it into your compost pile as long as it is not too much.

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    2. Wood ash turns to lye when mixed with rain in the garden, which will kill earth worms. Be careful with wood ash.

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  5. Where does one get food grade diatomaceous earth? I have d.e. that we use for swimming pool filter - will that work?

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    1. Food grade has very little crystalline silica wild pool diatomaceous earth has very high levels of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is very dangerous and can be harmful to the health of humans and animals so I would avoid it if I were you. I hope that helps:)

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    2. Tractor Supply sells food grade diatomaceous earth. You can get a good sized jug for about six or seven dollars. Do not use the pool type with chickens. Ever.

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    3. Wood ash is extremely caustic and should not be used for animals. It's what lye is made from. It will eat your skin

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  6. Question? I am new to this chicken farming thing. I bought 6 chicks right after Easter. They've been inside (back porch, large dog crate with heat lamp) and are spoiled to death!!! Just turned them out in their new chicken PALACE and pen yesterday. They weren't too thrilled ad the sun started to set, they wanted back INSIDE ��
    Mt question is regarding their dust bath area. The pen isn't enclosed (with a roof... just fencing) so what can I do to keep the sand and ash dry, when it rains? Should I put it inside the coup?

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    1. Yes, I would bring it inside because you really don't want it getting wet.:)

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  7. Please go to the chicken chick.com and read her blog about dust bathing and why not to use diatomaceous earth anywhere around your chickens or yourself. It is damaging to both of you. The chicken chick is a very reliable and knowledgeable resource for all things related to raising backyard chickens. She has a published book. It is available now for preorder for October release from Amazon.com. You will find all information on her blog. Please read and correct your information on this post. You are well intentioned but not correct.

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  8. Janice, thank you for your post. I've read quite a bit about the DE in regards to human, chicken and other animals consumption of DE. I can quote supporting information and their author's. Why am I to regard the information on the chick sight and not the information which I've researched at great lengths, on my own? And why would you request that people on here "correct their information"? I will continue on the path which I've researched, but thank you for your concern.

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    1. I think the danger is the inhalation. You really should fold it into the sand/soil while the animals are somewhere else and humans should use a mask when they are mixing it or spreading it into the coop floor mulch (whatever you use) I use sand..it is great!

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  9. Question: Are you endorsing the sales of her book? Is she a veterinarian? A doctor? A dietician? I'm just wondering how she became an expert? I would love to read some of her supporting evidence.

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  10. No, no endorsement. Just telling you what is in her blogs will now be available in her book. She has had her book fact checked by poultry veterinarians and everything has been thoroughly researched. She has a large healthy backyard flock. She has daily live feeds in her backyard during which she teaches the principles of raising chickens as pets and egg producers. If you check out her website you will understand her expertise.

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  11. I am not a keeper of chickens...just interested in learning. She will give you supporting evidence for not using de around yourself or your chickens. Check her out. She is a lawyer and as such is very keen about accuracy. I have no reason to care other than I would want to follow her principles for raising chickens if I did raise poultry.

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  12. I lightly sprinkle DE in the coop to cut down on the flies during the summer. And it works great. Been using it for 2+ years haven't had a sick chicken. Better than a fog or spray.

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