Chickens take “dust baths” to keep themselves free of mites naturally. These baths also keep the chicken fresh by washing off any “debris”. They LOVE to get as much dirt and sand as they can all over their feathers and deep down to the base of their feathers! Dust baths, or some call them sand baths, for birds and similar to mud baths that their farm friends – pigs – enjoy, also very needed to keep them clean and mite free!
Our hens love their bath time and when I saw this great idea of re-purposing an old tire into a “bath tub”, I was on it ! Right now they all have to share one “tub”, but we will definitely be getting more tires as we expend our chicken pen!
You can build a bath box, use an old tire, or pretty much anything that will hold the dirt (we scooped some up from the coop floor) and sand (builder’s sand is best) and is big enough for your hens with plenty of shaking room to spread their wings while bathing. Adding some wood ash or charcoal ash is a good way for your birds to get a little more Vitamin K, Calcium, and Magnesium from nibbling on the charcoal (charcoal is a laxative and also helps get rid of toxins), but always make sure that you never put anything in the dust bath that has had lighter fluid or other chemicals on it!
Look at our girls and their new dust bath!