Friday, March 19, 2010

Dust Bath Anyone?

Is there anything more satisfying than 
a communal dust bath?

Now that the snow has melted,
my chickens look forward to their daily free ranging.
Once eggs are layed for the day, 
the gates to the henhouse yards are opened
and the girls come running out.

Imagine:  chicken stampede!
Have you seen the movie "Chicken Run"?
Those animators definitely did their homework.
Those chickens run exactly like real chickens.
Head though they might tumble head over heels....
with such enthusiasm.
We should have that much joy as we 
leave our own front doors each day!

After a bit of time foraging for bugs and tasty treats, 
the girls settle in to the dirt at the edge of the woods.
The each clear a patch of earth,
scratch an indentation,
and settle themselves in for a good
old fashioned dust bath.

Ah, it's great to be filthy again!!!

Meanwhile, Elvis looks on....

You might notice that Elvis' comb is a bit grey on the edges.
It seems he suffered a bit of frost bite on his comb
this winter.
I keep a heat lamp lit in each of their henhouses.
But of course the chickens love to be outdoors.
Some chickens are more prone to frostbite than others.
Poor Elvis is one of those.
His comb had turned black on the edges at first.
Now it is grey.
I am hoping that the nasty part will slough off.
And he will once again be my handsome Elvis!!

By the way, according to "Chickens love to take dust baths! They dig a shallow hole, loosen up all the dirt, and proceed to get themselves absolutely as dirty as they possibly can. (Don't worry, the shake the dirt off later...) Dust baths are absolutely necessary: they prevent parasites such as mites and lice from finding a home in your chickens' feathers and legs."


Pam said...

They are such beautiful creatures!


Anke said...

Cute pictures, I like the first one where they are in the "tub" together. Poor Elvis though, I didn't know chickens could get frost bite. The things you learn in life...

Dawn Dutton said...

AWE.... chickens are so funny to watch. I am so thankful that I am able to have them. Thanks for sharing this post. Makes me the start of my day.....

Junebug said...

Oh do my chickens love there dust baths. They are such creatures of habit. Mine also run out of the coop and enjoy there day of pecking and then they settle into their favorite spot for there bath. Now all I need is to get my outdoor bath tub and I could settle outside for my bath. Someday!!! I can still dream!!

Sandy said...

My birds love to take a dust bath too - although I didn't realize that chicken did too. They have a favorite spot that they have claimed by my leyland cypress trees.

Aussiemade said...

Oh Bev my four are so hilarious to watch when they first get outside. I am so glad yours are getting some sunshine now. Poor Elvis brrr frost bite. Happy Spring

donna baker said...

I love watching the chickens taking a dirt bath. They just work so hard at it.

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

That Elvis is one fine looking bird! I just got myself a rooster and have mixed feelings about the deflowering of my hens. My girls are dustbathing on my perennial beds, so I'm in the process of making them a nice big fenced area.


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