If hens are confined, it is important that a dust bath is provided for them. A large box should be half-filled with dry earth, sand or ashes. If hens are free-ranging they will make dust baths for themselves in any areas of bare earth and craters are likely to develop; dominant hens will often oust others from good dust bath spots. They like to squat down and shake themselves with movements of the body and wings so that their feathers get covered in dust. The dust trickles through their feathers and onto their skin. In this way they clean themselves and the dust helps remove many of the parasites, such as lice, which infest the skin. Once finished, hens will give their feathers a good shake and probably go back to searching for food.