Dust bath

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poachedegg
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Dust bath

Post by poachedegg »

Don't know if anyone is interested but Homebase is selling a 160l plastic trunk with a lid for £30 at the moment, it's huge.
I'm going to cut a hole in it and let the girls use for a dust bath. It's made by Really Useful Boxes.
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LadyA
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Re: Dust bath

Post by LadyA »

Something like that could be useful if restrictions come in again over Winter, as they probably will. At the moment, my five hens have made their own dustbaths! In fact, I'm convinced they are digging escape tunnels!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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rick
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Re: Dust bath

Post by rick »

I got a cement mixing trough from Homebase a couple of years ago but they don't have them on the shelves lately. The builders merchant would probably have something similar. It eventual cracked when trying to drag it out full to refresh.
This weekend I have dug a sump in the floor of run, through the block paving, and lined the sides with brick. Its going to be their new dust bath but also will serve as a well to jet wash into and pump out. Our run needs a good blast out and that hasn't been possible before as there has been nowhere lower than the floor to collect the water to drain.
I was going to dig it about a foot deep but hit a level pan of concrete. An old path under what was a lawn in the 50's maybe? So it turned out to be 8 inch deep but at least I didn't have to make a base! Will be kept a little moist and cool though as it's in contact with the ground below.
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PageMossFarm
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Re: Dust bath

Post by PageMossFarm »

Noob question here!
I’m just building my run and was going to line the base with wire mesh, weed membrane and wood shavings. This will obviously stop the hens digging a natural dust bath, what would you suggest I use in the run please? I can source a container but not sure what to use as the dust?
Many thanks!
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Marigold
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Re: Dust bath

Post by Marigold »

Get a good big container, nice and deep, and then there are several options. You don’t need to fill the container to the top, but allow a good 5-6 inches of whatever you’re using, plus an extra 12” minimum above the sand so that when they stand up to shake it off, more of it stays in the container rather than spreading out into the run. If you have any spare ordinary garden soil with not too many stones, that will be fine, but it may not be possible to poach this from your garden borders without damage to the plants. I use play sand, comes in bags from garden stores, and mix in what earth I may have, such as the leftovers from flower pots when the plants have finished. Probably it’s not so good to buy compost intended for growing new plants or seeds as it will have quite a lot of added fertiliser in it. Whatever you use it needs to be dry. Usually I have to spread it out on a tarpaulin in the sun, ( when we have any!) to dry it out.
bigyetiman
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Re: Dust bath

Post by bigyetiman »

We cut down an old water butt that was lying in the garden. Laid it on it's side firmly wedged and it makes a lovely enclosed dust bath with a mixture of sand/earth, keeps nice and dry in winter as well, the opening is wide enough so we can pick out any poop in there.
They tend to use the garden or run in the summer for dust bathing, I think they dig the big holes in the hope that one day they will see me fall over in one and hopefully spill whatever I may be carrying
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