The Ultimate Chicken Dust Bath Recipe: 3 Powerful Additions your Chickens will Love

This post was most recently updated on January 5th, 2021

If you have chickens in your backyard, they will benefit from having a dust bath in their coop. This ultimate chicken dust bath recipe will keep your chickens happy, healthy and clean. Chickens LOVE their dust baths, and surprisingly rabbits naturally roll in dust too!

Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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Why not set up a suped-up dust bath for them to help treat parasites while they are at it? You will need one dust bath for every 10- 15 or so chickens or every 5 adult rabbits, and put it somewhere it won’t get rained on so they can use it all year long.

What are the benefits of a chicken dust bath?

Medicated dust bath, treating lice and mites

In the wild many animals roll in dust – chickens and rabbits included. The fine dust particles help absorb excess oils, removes mites and fleas and scrubs the feathers and fur clean.

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The Ultimate Chicken Dust Bath Recipe: 3 Powerful Additions your Chickens will Love

Chickens will naturally bathe in plain old dust, however if you add a few additional ingredients, you can supe up the plain dust bath, and make it more effective at preventing mites, fleas and ticks.

Diatomaceous earth, powdered herbs and wood ash make powerful additions to your homemade chicken dust bath mix.

What are the reasons behind the super ingredients in this particular chicken dust bath?

Wood ash – use only ash from wood or paper, nothing with accelerants or chemicals added. The chickens and rabbits may well nibble on the ash/charcoal as it is a natural way to cleanse the body of toxins and parasites. It also helps kill fleas, mites and lice.

Sand – adds an extra layer of grit to the mixture and helps keep it free flowing. You can get this from your local garden/landscape store.

Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) – The razor-sharp microscopic silicon particles cut through the of both internal and external parasite’s protective coating on their shells, causing them to become dehydrated, block their airways and attack their respiratory systems.

Dirt – what is a dust bath without dust?! Gather some dirt from your garden and lay it out in the sun to dry.

You can also dry dirt in a thin layer in a roasting pan in your oven on a low heat for several hours.

Powdered Sage, peppermint, rosemary or lavender – you can make this yourself by harvesting entire stems of plant and hanging them upside down in a paper bag in a cool dry place to dry out.

Once they are totally dry, blitz them in a food processor. Store the powder in a sealed container to keep the volatile oils in until needed.

This herb dust is best used within one year of harvest. The smell of the oils in these herbs repel insects. *Please note sage dries up a milk supply so don’t use this with lactating does*

the ultimate Chicken dust bath

How to Make the Ultimate Chicken Dust Bath Recipe

You Need:

  • A box, tire, rubbermaid tub, old jam pan or plastic paddling pool.
  • 2 parts dry dirt/dust
  • 1 part wood or paper ash (not coal or from burning rubbish)
  • 1 part sand
  • 1/2 part diatomaceous earth
  • Gloves and mask
  • Optional powdered herbs – 1/2 part of dried and powdered Sage, Lavender, Peppermint or Rosemary

I use a small bucket as my ‘part’ measure. You may want to wear a dust mask and gloves for this next bit as it does throw a fair bit up into the air.

Put all ingredients into your container and stir together well with your hands.

That is it really, now you simply leave somewhere out of the rain/snow and let the chooks and bunnies have at it.

Do you have a chicken dust bath for your animals? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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9 thoughts on “The Ultimate Chicken Dust Bath Recipe: 3 Powerful Additions your Chickens will Love”

  1. Hi I’ve just started adding herbs to my 30 chickens dust bins I have 3 bins and they love it!! Do I need to dry out the herbs or can I rip them into small peices and mix in. We have lavender mint oregano rosemary growing in our garden. Where can I find wood ash?

    • You can totally throw them in fresh! Wood ash is simply the remains of wood having been burned in a fire. If you can’t or don’t have one, ask around friends and family if they have any?

  2. My girls were so happy when I put this in their box. They are 2 weeks old almost 3. They stand in line to do it. Thanks for the recipe…….

  3. I made dust baths for my chickens but I can’t get them to use them. They ruin my grass instead. Any pointers on how to get them to use it??

    • Dawn, that is frustrating! Our just chose to use them, but you could try keeping them in their run away from the lawn until they work out how to use it? Or sprinkle some seed into it to encourage them to scratch and dig in it.


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