Dustbath question

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Tweetypie
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Dustbath question

Post by Tweetypie » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:10 pm

Hi all
I have a question. Do hens dislike sand? It's play sand from a toy store.
I have replaced the sodden clay soil in the lorry tyre dustbath (the main one still has soil) but the hens won't go in there. I have just scattered some sand in the big dustbath, so they can get used to the feel of it, but they wont go in. I tossed some cherry tomatoes in to encourage them. Mabel jumped in, then straight back out, as if something was trying to eat her alive.

I just wanted a separate, dry, dustbath in the corner, should it rain. I don't want anything that clogs easily with the sand.

Any ideas?
valeriebutterley
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by valeriebutterley » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:53 am

My girls, apart from the bantams, are on earth, and dustbathing is a natural part of their day, clouds of dust sometimes, and they still do it elsewhere!

Flower beds are usually pots with me, and the rest has low fancy metal fencing around the beds, bought in about 12" pieces.

I didn't know they were so fussy!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by Hen-Gen » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:12 am

Ditto Tweetiepie. Mine have excavated a dustbath behind the shed which in current weather is more like a puddle. But in normal conditions they love to use it and will often spend an hour just sunbathing in it. In the past I’ve tried sand and apart from eating some of it it is completely ignored. I concluded that it was the wrong texture. Certainly for young stock before it’s old enough to be let out a tray of ordinary soil is much more popular.
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Marigold
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by Marigold » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:44 am

I use play sand and they get through quite a lot of it.
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LadyA
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by LadyA » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:53 am

I did try making dustbaths years ago, but none of the hens ever used it. They preferred to excavate their own, outside. There's quite a large area (communal baths!) under a tree that they seem to like. Of course, when it's wet, it means they don't have a dustbath. Thankfully, right now, the ground there is dry and powdery.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by Tweetypie » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:32 am

It's fascinating how creatures can be so fussy or suspicious.
They have always used the extra large dustbath, which has the garden clay soil, but after all that rain it became so logged, they didn't want to go in, hence me buying the sand for the lorry tyre.
This morning the sprinkling of sand I put in the soil dustbath still hadnt been used, although the OH said Miss Muffet was 8n there last night.
I guess I will have to buy some top soil to mix in with the sand for the tyre dustbath.
LadyA, they don't have free run of my garden, they are in an enclosed and safe extra large run.
rick
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by rick » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:29 am

Personally, I use just top soil and give it a light spray of water while watering the plants to keep it off being totally dry. They seem to prefer it that way - as it would be generally in a flower bed. I gave mine a slice of melon for the first time ever the other day and they looked at it like it might explode!
Shadrach
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by Shadrach » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:34 pm

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Tweetypie
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by Tweetypie » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:59 am

Thank you Shadrach. I'll remember to put all the ash from the wood burner into their dustbath, although it won't be until Autumn now. At least it's dry at the moment, so now the small layer of sand I put in the large dustbath area has mixed in and they are happy again 😉

Ps. Rick - mine love melon. It's so interesting how different these birds' personalities can be. It's a comfort learning about them from members of this forum :D
rick
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Re: Dustbath question

Post by rick » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:25 pm

Tweetypie wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:59 am
Ps. Rick - mine love melon. It's so interesting how different these birds' personalities can be. It's a comfort learning about them from members of this forum :D
Anything they haven't seen before and most things they have with these CLBs.
Legbars - ' This is it! The murderous plot that we always suspected is swinging into action! Run for your lives!'
Bonnie - ' Mmmm, its kind of tasty though!'
Legbars - ' Its a plot to starve us to death then but we wont be fooled!! Phew! That was a narrow escape' *munch, munch, munch*
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