There is nothing nicer on a warm summer day than watching hens dust bathing. We can almost forgive the craters that they create in our flower boarders and gardens for the sheer joy of seeing hens engaging in this wonderful activity!
Hens close their eyes and roll in the dip they have created, throwing loose soil over themselves. Folks that are new to hen keeping can find it rather disturbing and we do get phone calls reporting that the hens are having a fit!
Why do hens dust bath? Well, intrinsically hens are very clean creatures – they love to preen and groom themselves. Dust bathing is the way that they clean their feathers. The process helps to control parasites and prevents the feathers becoming too oily. Hens prefer dry loose soil or sand and often choose the ground underneath their coop.
Be prepared for your hen to be very dusty at the end of the process, then stand back and watch as she shakes just like a dog!
If you would like to ask Gaynor a hen health question please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hen Central on 01884 860084. To support our Advice Line we ask for a nominal donation to help fund this service, so that we can continue to help your hens.