Why Do Chickens Bathe In Dirt?

If you’ve ever watched a chicken bathing in the dirt, then you have probably been pondering the same thing many others have… Why? Today we’ll explore this mystifying behavior.

What Is A Dust Bath For Chickens?

Chickens spend a lot of time scratching around in the dirt. They’re not just being messy, they’re taking a dust bath!

The dust that chickens like to bathe in helps keep them clean and free from parasites. It also adds texture to their feathers, which can make them look prettier and keep them warmer.

Chickens like to bathe in warm water or dust because it feels good on their skin. When they are done bathing, they will shake off any excess water or dust and then preen their feathers.

Dust Baths for Chickens

A dust bath is a deep hole filled with fine dry soil or sand which chickens use for bathing and grooming. Chickens enjoy bathing in warm water or dry soil because it feels good on their skin and keeps them clean from external parasites such as fleas and lice.

At What Age Do Chickens Start Dust Bathing?

Chickens start dust bathing at around a week.

The dust of the litter will stick to the oil on their feathers and help keep them clean and dry. It also helps to remove mites and other parasites from their skin and feathers.

Dust bathing is a common behavior for many species of birds and mammals, even humans! It’s just one way that chickens keep themselves clean and healthy.

In the wild, chickens often use dust baths to help protect against parasites such as lice or ticks. You may be able to see small piles of dust in your coop where your chickens have fluffed up their feathers to get at their backsides or feet when they are feeling itchy or uncomfortable.

Do My Chickens Need A Dust Bath?

Yes, chickens need a dush bath. Dust bathing is normal behavior for chickens. It helps them groom themselves, keep their feathers clean and dry, and keep their skin healthy.

Dust baths also help to remove parasites from the chicken’s body.

Chickens need to dust bathe at least once a week, but more often if they live in hot climates or have access to lots of dust and dirt outside.

It’s important to provide your chickens with plenty of dust bathing space. If you have several chickens in one coop, they’ll need more than one spot to dust bathe so they don’t fight over the same area.

How Often Do Chickens Need A Dust Bath?

Chickens love to take dust baths! It’s a sign of good health, and it helps keep the feathers in good shape.

The frequency of dust baths will depend on the temperature, humidity, and how much time your chickens spend outside. The hotter and more humid it is, the more often they will need a bath.

If your chickens are kept inside most of the time and kept cool in the winter months, they may only need to take a dust bath once or twice per week. If they are kept outside in the summer months, they may need to take one every day or two.

How Do You Dust Bath A Baby Chick?

A dust bath is a dusting of loose dirt on the bottom of a cage to help baby chicks keep clean and healthy. It’s also used by adult chickens, to keep them free from mites, lice, and other parasites.

To dust bath your baby chicks, you’ll need:

  • A shallow container that will fit in their cage, such as a pie plate or large lid
  • Dry play sand (not beach sand), aquarium gravel, or crushed oyster shell
  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth

Step 1: Place the container in the corner of the cage with the chicks’ food and water.

Step 2: Fill it with about 1 inch of sand, gravel or crushed oyster shell.

Step 3: Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth over it.

Step 4: The chicks will scratch in this area until they’ve created a hole deep enough for them to bury themselves in it and clean themselves thoroughly.


Bacteria and parasites can accumulate on the skin of a chicken, but when they take a dirt bath, it helps to remove these unwanted creatures. Many chickens also enjoy the process of dust bathing, which provides them with both physical and mental relief from their hectic days.