Monday, February 7, 2011

Lulu at the Spa

Lulu likes to dust bath like any other chicken.  The other girls have their baths on sunny days in the winter in the bare dirt under the trees in their run.  That is one of the few places in the yard where the ground doesn't get covered with snow and gets warmed enough by the sun for them to bath.

I tried to let Lulu have a quick bath in their dust hole but there were too many of them to try to keep them from pecking her and chasing her away.  It didn't help matters that Lulu thinks she is invincible and makes a certain sound that usually starts a fight.  She often makes this sound when she is outside their run and usually one of the girls takes her up on her challenge and they try to fight through the fence.

So when I read that chickens like to dust bath in wood ashes, I made Lulu her only little Spa.

I bought a fairly large storage bin and set it in the basement on an old piece of lino.

I added several inches of cold ashes from our wood stove.

Every few days, we take Lulu downstairs and set her in her box.

Sometimes Lulu just lays there and picks at some of the charcoal bits.

Other times she has a full out dust bath.

She pecks at the ashes and pushes them around until she has made herself a hollow just the right shape and size.

She starts to kick with her feet and wiggle her body in the dust.  Every once in the while a big puff of ash flies in the air.

She sometimes twists her head and neck around so it gets rubbed in the dust as well.  She gets a good workout at the spa stretching and working all her muscles.

By the time she is finished, she is covered with ashes and very content.  At this point, I often take her outside for a quick shake.

Lulu then grooms herself and is all soft and shiny again.

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