Dust baths for your chickens are absolutely necessary. They prevent parasites such as mites and lice from making their homes on your bird’s bodies!
To give chickens a bath, you’re going to need the following: A sizable box (a plastic litter box, a wooden crate, or a kiddies swimming pool might actually might work just fine, depending on the size of your flock– a cardboard box will only be eaten by your chickens, so refrain from using that), cheap builder’s sand (you do not need anything extravagant), wood ash (from real natural wood, not processed wood), soil (without any additives), and, if you decide, Diatomaceous Earth (read more about it here).
Mix all of these ingredients together evenly in the container of your choosing, and place far away from any food or water dishes in your coop– if you don’t do this, your chickens will eat dirt. It goes everywhere!
In addition to providing a container dust bath, you can also dig your own. The problem with this, however, is rain and mud. Winter is probably your best time to do this, but it is much easier to just make a container for your chickens. This way no land is destroyed and you still give them what you need.
If you refrain from giving your chickens a designated dust bath, they might get into your garden instead. It is best to provide for them what they need so they do not destroy any of your lawn.
Again, providing a dust bath for your chickens is mandatory, especially if you do not let your chickens roam freely often. Parasites are real, and your chickens also relieve stress by dust bathing. How would you feel without a shower for weeks?
Please, if you have any questions, we are here to answer them. This blog is for your benefit. If anything strikes you as interesting or confusing, let us know, and we can go into greater detail about any of these topics. Beginning to raise backyard chickens might seem scary, but after the first few months, it’s incredibly rewarding.