The Pros and Cons of Adding Diatomaceous Earth and Wood Ash to Your Chicken’s Dirt Bath Box.

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Dust Bath for Your Chickens.

I know how important it is to provide your feathered friends with a comfortable and healthy environment. One of the ways to achieve this is by creating a dust bath for them. Not only is it a natural way for chickens to maintain their hygiene, but it also helps prevent parasites and mites.

Are you a chicken owner looking for ways to keep your feathered friends healthy and happy? One simple solution is creating a dust bath for them. Not only is it a natural way for chickens to maintain their hygiene, but it can also help prevent parasites and mites.

In this article, we’ll explore some popular ingredients used by chicken enthusiasts when making a dust bath, such as diatomaceous earth, wood ashes, dirt, Monday’s Best Dust Bath, and Sweet PDZ. By using these natural and safe products, you can provide your chickens with a comfortable and healthy environment that promotes digestion, healthy feathers, strong bones, and reduced ammonia and odor.

Keep reading to learn more about these ingredients and how to use them in your chicken’s dust bath.

  1. Diatomaceous Earth – Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) food grade is one of the most common ingredients used in dust baths for chickens. It is a natural product made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. DE is known for its ability to kill parasites and insects like lice, fleas, and mites. It is also safe for chickens to ingest and has many other benefits such as improving digestion, promoting healthy feathers, and strengthening bones. To use DE, simply mix it with dirt or sand and provide it in a container for your chickens to dust bathe in.
  2. Wood Ashes Wood ashes are another popular ingredient used in chicken dust baths, especially during the winter months when chickens are confined to their coops. Ashes from a wood-burning stove or fireplace can be used to create a dust bath as they contain potassium and calcium, which help to repel lice and mites. It is important to note that ashes from charcoal, coal, or treated wood should not be used as they may contain harmful chemicals that can harm your chickens.
  3. Dirt Believe it or not, plain old dirt is still one of the most popular ingredients used in chicken dust baths. It is easy to come by and provides a natural substrate for chickens to roll around in. However, it is recommended to add other ingredients like DE or wood ashes to help control parasites and odor.
  4. Monday’s Best Dust Bath Monday’s Best Dust Bath is a natural product that is safe for chickens and has multiple benefits. It contains diatomaceous earth, which helps to control parasites and insects, as well as zeolite, which helps to reduce ammonia and odor. It also contains essential oils that have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which help to keep your chickens healthy. Monday’s Best can be added to the soil or used directly in the coop.
  5. Sweet PDZ Sweet PDZ is a natural mineral product that is used to control ammonia and odor in animal environments. It is made from zeolite, which is a volcanic mineral that can absorb moisture and odors. Sweet PDZ is safe for chickens to use in their dust baths and can also be added to the coop bedding to help control odors.
  6. Sand Sand is another popular ingredient used in chicken dust baths, especially in areas where the soil is heavy and clay-like. Sand allows for better drainage and also helps to exfoliate the skin of your chickens, which can promote healthy feathers.
  7. Herbs Adding herbs to your chicken’s dust bath can provide some additional benefits. Herbs like lavender, mint, and chamomile can have a calming effect on your chickens and can also act as natural insect repellents. Simply chop up the herbs and mix them into the dirt or sand in the dust bath.
  8. Baking Soda Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can help to neutralize odors in your chicken coop. It can also help to balance the pH levels of your chicken’s skin, which can help to prevent infections. Simply mix some baking soda into the dirt or sand in the dust bath.
  9. Seaweed Seaweed is a great source of minerals and can provide some additional health benefits for your chickens. It is also known to repel mites and other parasites. You can either use dried seaweed or fresh seaweed that has been rinsed thoroughly.
  10. Oyster Shells Oyster shells are a great source of calcium, which is important for the development of strong eggshells. They can also be used in the chicken dust bath as a way to provide some additional minerals and to help sharpen your chicken’s beak. Simply crush the shells into small pieces and mix them into the dirt or sand.


  1. How often should I change the dust bath? It is recommended to change the dust bath once a week or whenever it becomes dirty.
  2. Can I use sand instead of dirt? Yes, sand is an excellent substrate for chickens to dust bathe in. Just make sure to add other ingredients like DE or wood ashes to help control parasites and odor.
  3. How deep should the dust bath be? The dust bath should be at least 6 inches deep to allow your chickens to fully immerse themselves.
  4. Can I use regular DE instead of food-grade DE? No, regular DE is not safe for chickens to ingest. Only use food grade DE in your chicken’s dust bath.
  5. Can I use essential oils in my chicken’s dust bath? Yes, essential oils like rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint, sage, and cinnamon can be added to the dust bath. However, it is important to dilute them first and only use a few drops.
  6. How much of each ingredient should I use in the dust bath? There is no set amount of each ingredient to use in a dust bath. It depends on the size of your flock and how often you change the bath. As a general guideline, use 1 part DE, wood ash, or Sweet PDZ to 4 parts dirt or sand.
  7. Do I need to provide a separate container for the dust bath? Yes, it is recommended to provide a separate container for the dust bath. This helps to keep the rest of the coop clean and prevents the chickens from spreading the dust all over.
  8. Can I use a plastic container for the dust bath? Yes, plastic containers can be used for the dust bath. Just make sure they are large enough for your chickens to comfortably roll around in.
  9. Can I use chemical insecticides in my chicken’s dust bath? No, chemical insecticides are not safe for chickens and should never be used in their dust bath. Stick to natural ingredients like DE, wood ash, and essential oils.

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About James Polystead

I grew up on a small farm. My parents used to grow food and keep animals for our sustenance. They would sell the surplus to make an extra coin to supplement the income from their jobs. I am taking the same path. I have over 40 chickens for eggs and meat. I also grow vegetables in my backyard. follow me on Twitter

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