Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Sunbathing and Dust Baths

Yesterday I actually felt that Winter might soon be over.  It was still cold out, but the sunshine was glorious.  It was one of those days where you could actually feel the sunshine warming your face if you closed your eyes and looked to the sun.  It felt nice; warm, comforting and most of all made me feel happy.

I also took the time to put a lot, 50 pounds, of Ice Melt on our frozen driveway.  Right now, it is literally a downward skating rink.  The ice is 8 inches thick in some spots, making the it virtually impossible to melt.  Sometimes the Cape has these types of winters.  Snow is followed by freezing rain.  It warms in the day then freezes at night.  This vicious cycle creates icy dangerous conditions that many cannot prevent.  I spent about an hour outside dusting the driveway.  I didn’t mind because I got to enjoy the chickens.

They too were enjoying the glorious sunshine in the form of suntanning while dust bathing.  The first time I ever saw my chickens having a dust bath, I thought that something was surely wrong.  They get in the strangest positions.  The lay on their sides with their legs outstretched.  They contort their wings into supernormal positions.  They wiggled as they toss dirt into the air. 

Yesterday, each chicken after having treats of apples, celery and carrots dug out their very own dust bath hole.  The run looked like it had just been bombed.  I could see them rolling around in the dirt; from their tummies to their backs. Some together in the same giant potholes, some alone.  Then after a while, they would snuggle together in the largest hole to soak up the sunshine.  Sunbathing chickens!  They had so much fun. 

As I was thinking about closing them in for the night, I thought about the repair work to the ground in the run that I was going to have to do.  The entire run seems to need regrading after their escapades today.  But when I went out to lock them in for the night, the run was completely back to normal.  It was one entirely flat surface again.  The chicken tidied up their run prior to going to bed.  Sometimes, they are so thoughtful. 

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