When it’s time for your chooks to freshen up, your backyard flock loves to get down and dirty to stay clean - it’s called a dust bath! Adding ingredients like diatomaceous earth and medicinal herbs gives your chicken flock an immunity and pest repellent boost. Have a peck at the 5 things to add to your chickens dust bath to keep them so fresh, so clean and poultry pest free.
Fine Sand and Dry Dirt
Fine sand mixed with some dry dirt makes a great base on which to build your chicken run’s dust bath. A sandy base ensures the dust bath won't clump and adding in dry dirt gives your chickens grit to forage for.
Super Fine Grade Diatomaceous Earth
This powerhouse pest avenger deters ticks, mites and lice from taking hold of your flock. The small particles of superfine grade diatomaceous earth get down to the base of your chook’s feathers and wreak havoc with any poultry parasites that are trying to set up shop. If you’re curious about other ways to incorporate diatomaceous earth into your chicken routine have a peck here.
Set aside the wood ash from your fire pit or hearth for your backyard chickens to use. As they naturally forage and scratch through the ash they absorb magnesium, calcium and vitamin K. The fine ash also gets down to the base of the flock’s feathers to help clear out any unwanted pests. Just be sure to never use any ash that was started with lighter fluid or fire-starter bricks, as the chemicals are bad for your poultry.
Lavender is a natural pest repellent that will shoo away mosquitoes, flies and ants and prevent parasites like mites, lice and ticks taking hold of your chickens. Sprinkle some dried lavender into your flock's dust bath to keep your chooks clean, fresh smelling and cluckin' calm.
Dried Lemon Balm
Just like lavender, this fragrant herb is a powerful pest repellent and will deter creepy crawlies from ruining your ladies day at the spa. Not only is lemon balm a calming aromatherapy herb, its antibacterial properties will help your hens heal from minor scratches and wounds too.
Giving your hens a luxurious place to dust bathe is just the start of incorporating natural products into your backyard chickens’ lifestyle. Check out our guide on natural ways to improve your chook’s nesting box here and our top 5 natural hen health products here.