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Dirt Bath? for hens

Discussion in 'Poultry Chat' started by shezzy, Jul 1, 2010.


  1. shezzy

    shezzy PetForums Senior

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    Hey, I haven't been on this site for ages :p

    But if anywhere I can get great advice its here :)

    Me and my parnter have just got our little bungalow and we're looking into getting hens. We found a suitable house and run and we plan to get two Rhode Island Reds (his choice) and a Light Sussex (my choice :p)

    The area of our garden we are going to place the hen house with attached run is on slabs, I am aware that chickens prefer grass but it would be very difficult for us to pick up the slabs. We can't place the hen hut on the grass area because its in full veiw of the main road and I dont want everyone walking past pestering my chickens. However, we are going to buy a seperate run that we can place on the grass when someones home.

    So, any suggestions on how I can make the slabs more habitable to the chickens. Can I give them a subsitute dirt bath?? Is there anything I can put ontop of the slabs for them to scratch around in. I want to deprive them.

    Also, is there any other enrichment I can give them??

    Sorry didn't mean to write so much :p Thanks
     
  2. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    some put a dip layer of straw as a base it also is good as they can peek about it in. I think one of the bark ranges is suitable as a base but not sure which one. you may be able to google and it may tell you.
     
  3. Bratpack

    Bratpack PetForums Member

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    I saw a pic of a hen dust bathing in what looked like a shallow (large) flower pot, say 12 inches diameter by 6-8 inches tall. I guess you would then put some earth in the bottom and let them get on with it!
     
  4. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    wnder if chinchilla sand would do the same thing for a sand box. my mate use to bath her chickens and dry them.
     
  5. shezzy

    shezzy PetForums Senior

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    Thanks. where i put "i want to deprive them" i really ment "i dont want to deprive them". My typing is terrible :eek:

    I'll have a look about that bark and I think I saw the pot thing aswell, wasn't sure if its just dirt you put in it or some sort of sand haha.

    Hmmm maybe chinchila sand woud work, I dunno, thats what I use for my little gerbils lol :arf:
     
  6. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    gerbils love there dust baths and fab to remove the grease from there coat. Aparrantly bran is meant to do the same rubbed in a cats coat then brushed and rubbed over with a soft cloth
     
  7. chickenrun

    chickenrun PetForums Member

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    Hi

    My chickens used to be on slabs and they were fine.. when i used to cut the grass i put a load of grass cutting in the run for them to eat and they loved it, as long as they got there pellets and a bit of mixed corn they will be fine.

    If the run hasnt got a roof on it i wouldnt use bark gets so messy when it rains i found that out.

    As with a mud bath you can use a plasic storage box one of the shallow one just fill it with some nice soil.
     
  8. BattleKat

    BattleKat PetForums Senior

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    our chickens have free range of our garden and still like to hop in to our flowerpots, dig out the plants and bathe in the compost so I'd say give that a go!
     
  9. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    I'd suggest a large low-sided storage box placed in a dry weatherproof area, filled with chinchilla dust or children's play sand.

    You can use shredded bark (but be careful what tree species it is from, as some are poisonous, like yew) or straw as a general litter to satisfy their scratching around and pecking instincts.
     
  10. Guinevere13

    Guinevere13 PetForums VIP

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    As Battlekat said - mine used to remove the plants from plant pots and bathe in there despite having a whole garden to scratch/bath in! They also love Brussel sprouts. Tie a stem up for them to eat or hang a cabbage from the top of the run it will keep them occupied! You can grow grass in trays for them. Good luck :thumbup:
     
  11. shezzy

    shezzy PetForums Senior

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    Thanks eveyone, you've all been very helpful :lol:

    I can't wait to get then, I'll have to post some pics when they finnaly arrive :)
     
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