Ah! There’s Nothing Like a Good Dust Bath in the Afternoon

Ah! There’s Nothing Like a Good Dust Bath in the Afternoon
By Carrie Cook Verona, Wisconsin Perhaps you’ve noticed your flock scratching and rolling around in the dust, tossing up clouds of dirt and digging out holes, and wondered if they’ve all gone nuts. Or perhaps you’ve long been aware of this behavior and never given it a second thought. What’s going on? Surely they aren’t only trying to annoy you by digging up that newly planted flowerbed. Is this something all poultry do? Do I need to provide for this behavior in any way? Is it just random flopping around, or is there a method to the madness? What I’m describing is known as dust bathing. Chickens, turkeys, and quail all dust bathe, as well as many wild birds. On average, birds do this every second day, and most often at mid-day. Even if they are deprived of any decent substrate in which to dust bathe (for example, hens housed

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