Making a Dust Bath
Chickens take baths, too. Chickens take a different type of bath than you might expect. They often dig a shallow hole, loosen up all the dirt and then cover themselves in it. This process is called a dust bath. Dust bathing is an instinct that helps keeps birds clean.
You can make a dust bath for your hens by following these three steps:
1. Find a container at least 12 inches deep, 15 inches wide and 24 inches long.
2. Fill the container about 1/3 full of peat moss. If you'd like, you can also use an equal blend of sand, wood ash and natural soil.
3. Watch your birds roll around in the bath and clean themselves.
Dust baths can also prevent external parasites such as mites and lice. If external parasites are an issue, supplement you chicken dust baths with a cup or two of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). If you add DE, mix it in well. DE can be harmful if inhaled in large amounts. My mixing the DE into the dust bath, it is less likely to become airborne while still helping prevent external parasites.