Why do chickens take dust baths?....and other mysteries of life.....

I spent a few hours the other day painting one of our run-in barns which happens to be located directly behind the chicken house. I probably could have finished the painting much quicker than I did, but our crazy chickens put on such a show, I just had to sit and watch. "Edna", as we call our black chickens had all of her feathers shaking and dust and dirt were flying in all directions. I started to wonder.....why do chickens take dust baths? Now, I have read that the reason is to keep the mites off of them, but honestly, how would anyone really know. I don't know about you, but I talk to my chickens all the time and none of them have actually had anything intelligible to say in return. So I have concluded that this behavior will remain under the heading of one of life's mysteries. I have also come to the conclusion that it is impossible to be in a bad mood when you watch chickens. They are perhaps one of the most comical animals on the farm. If you ever have a chance to watch them run.....seize the opportunity. I guarantee it will have you in stitches!


Hi Bev,

My kids and I love to watch the chickens. Their antics always put a smile on my face. It has been years since we had them, so I was excited to get some for my birthday and 3 weeks ago I got some day old chicks too. My youngest 2 children (ages 6 and 2) were not born when we first had chickens, so they really enjoy them. My 2 yo little farmboy loves to help Momma feed the chickens.
We just put the chicks outside and right away they started scratching in the dirt and settling down in the dust. You're right, though, about them taking dust baths, it's one of those mysteries.

Anonymous said…
I have 8 chickens, my oldest are 2 RIR. They are just two months old, come to find out one of our hens is a roster! Lol, well w have all eight in a huge rubbermaid tub. I fill the bottom with wood chips, it seems to keep the smell down a well as keep ouy much cleaner. Well anyhow I caught my roster kicking, turning over, and fluffing all up covering himself in them. Have you ever seen anything like that befor? These are our first chickens. Thank you, kira