In anticipation of the upcoming days (months) of constant rain, I decided to officially give my girls an indoor bathing area. Sort of indoor–at least it’s under cover and out of the rain (in the chicken run). And, since this kind of indoor bath doesn’t require any plumbing, it was a project I could do in less than an hour.
All chickens need access to a place to take dust baths. Usually there’s plenty of space for mine to bathe in their chicken run on days when it’s too rainy to let them out for exercise. So, honestly, I’ve never worried about it.
This year, however, with the completion of their extended run (which has a back wall made of wood, not chicken wire to help keep it more dry), it seemed like a great time to add an official bathing area to the run. One of the reasons for this was so that I could concentrate on one area more than others to apply diatomaceous earth (I do sprinkle it around the coop and run already, but I wanted to be able to consistently hit a bathing area). DE is a great thing to add to their dirt because it helps keep parasites, worms, bugs, etc away from the chickens.
One nice day last week I found a leftover piece of wood, grabbed some screws and a power drill, and headed off to the corner of the run. Once the wood was in place (to hold extra dirt in that area), I loaded up the wheelbarrow with two loads of dirt. Sprinkled a little DE in, and stirred. (Although I haven’t done it yet, I’m also going to add a bag of sand.)
Wa-la! Instant bathing facilities for the girls, when it’s too rainy to go out to their favorite holes (yes, they created them) in the yard this winter.
By the way, the new space was an instant hit and has been seeing a lot of use. Now I’ll be sure to keep up on the DE in that space and hopefully keep the bug population down all winter. YAY. A win/win in my books!