Your Chickens - - Charlotte's Chickens -

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.

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