Today I gave the hens a warm dirt bath, and it was the biggest event of the new year.
So if your page takes a while to load, it’s because there’s 30 pictures, but they’re funny!I had the metal fridge drawer, aka dirt bathtub, on the woodstove for a few days, yes, full of mud. The dirt wasn’t completely dried out to dust, but it was warm. Dirt holds heat well.I delivered it, turned around to minister to some other chickens, and turned around to see the first hen standing in the earth with a look coming over her face. Neck disappearing, head sinking, eyes closing, and then lowering herself into the dirt.
It was jean jacket, actually, first in, with the hot bath expression coming over her face.
Then it was a riot of interest, with all the hens cycling by, test pecking, and trying to take a turn. A faint mist of steam rose from the dirt bath, and the hens – it was like they were melting, eyes closed, faces down in the pan. Flopping around and self- agitating like a washing machine drum. Jean jacket is still in there, fiercely protecting her end of the tub.
Later on, I saw a Brahma in there alone, so presumably Jean Jacket eventually had her toes wrinkle up, or something, and got out so more birds could get a turn.
So bath day was a huge hit.
They can, and do, dig divots in the floor anytime and writhe around in them, but I guess the warm and drier earth was especially exciting.