Now that spring has sprung, I’m more willing to do outdoor guard duty while the chickens have some walkabout time at the edges of the woods and in the yard.

They have the run of the place for at least a couple of hours most days. But when I open their outdoor run, the first thing all the chickens do is run, run, run for a spot between the back of the house and my Miss Kim lilac. This is where they bathe.

For chickens, a bath doesn’t involve water and bubbles. It involves loose dirt or dust.

The chickens dig and scratch with their sharp nails until there is a nice, soft patch of loose soil. Then each hen nestles down into the spot that she has prepared and wallows around, scratching and kicking the soil onto her back, opening her wings and rolling around. It looks like chicken heaven. You should be so happy in the bath.

This little ritual serves a useful purpose for the chickens. In hot weather it helps to cool them off as the soil particles work their way into the feathers. It also goes a long way toward avoiding mites, lice and other parasites. So the dirt bath is serious chicken hygiene.

For me, the chickens have also done me a favor. They have completely eradicated some invasive morning glories that no amount of weeding could control. In the years BC (Before Chickens), the morning glories would often wind their way into the lilac bush.

“Hey, wait!” you say. “Where is the big man while all these hens are bathing?”

Well, T. Boone Chickens usually takes a very abbreviated bath and then standards guard to ensure that the hens are protected and have their privacy.

He’s such a gentleman.

P.S. This is not really a chicken blog. But I do have a chicken section in my photo album. Have you visited it?

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9 Comments

  • Strawbrykiwi says:

    hehe so cute! your hens look lovely and Mr T Boone is such a gentleman!

  • Angela Davis says:

    Personally, I love your chicken posts! My chickens love their daily bath too.

  • I did not know that about chickens! Wow, learn something new everyday.
    .-= Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog ..Decisions of All Sizes =-.

  • I love the last photo of Mr. Rooster. Yes, he is quite handsome. And you are quite the photographer. Anyway, with the urban chicken trend, I’m thinking of raising some. I’m a little afraid of chickens, though. I remember getting my hand pecked when, as a little girl, I used to help my grandpa gather eggs.
    .-= Sue @ All About Food´s last blog ..A really delicious weekend =-.

    • Robin Ripley says:

      I had a neighbor who had chickens that would fly at me. That was not nice! And I’ve definitely heard plenty of stories about aggressive chickens.

      But my own experience has been just the opposite. My chickens are quite tame and docile. Very friendly. Some of it has to do with the breed that you choose, I think. But if you’re concerned and still interested, try to find a local chicken group or owners to visit so you can get more of a first-hand look. Believe me. Most chicken people love to talk about their chickens!

      And thank you for the nice compliment on the photography.

      Robin

  • Layanee says:

    I can almost see them rolling over and scratching while bathing. They look very happy. T. Boone is quite regal in his attentive stance. This may not be a ‘Chicken Blog’ but I love hearing about them.

  • Belle says:

    Love chicken. So any people have them in Miami, though some municipal governments have enacted laws prohibiting them in residential neighborhoods. Such a shame, the truly are great and quite entertaining to watch.

  • I love seeing chickens do this…. it’s so sweet!

  • Those tulips are such a treasure, you can’t help but wonder how we should do our best to help conserve it. All the flowers look really well maintained. Good job.=

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