Your pet chicken will inevitably want to bathe in dirt. Raising chickens involves the need to stand some of the odd habits chickens engage in, which they have engaged in for as long as there have been chickens. Chicken coops should have access to dirt or dry sand. They can scratch through the dirt then lie in the dirt and ruffle their feathers until they are saturated. When the chicken stands they shake off and they are “clean.” This is similar to how elephants cover themselves in dirt or how pigs cover themselves in mud.
When you’re learning how to raise chickens, you should know that a pet chicken will make their own dirt baths if their owner does not provide one for them. Offering a depression in the bath lets the chickens lie down more comfortably and roll around. Free range hens use these baths to cool off. More specifically, the dirt bath is meant to remove parasites like lice and mites. With the dirt, the chickens’ body and skin are protected. The dirt can also remove excess oil from their feathers. A dust bath should be provided, but kept away from the chicken feed. A pet chicken needs only a small shallow box for a dust bath. It will be easier for them to climb into and cover themselves with dust. The dust box should be wide enough for them to spread their wings and flick the dust into the air so they can cover themselves in it. They want to cover their entire body to protect it from the mites and lice. Chicken owners may wish to consider putting ashes, dirt, sand or possibly a little insecticide to aid the process of keeping the chickens protected from pests. The dust bath should stay dry so it will need a cover wide enough to keep it safe from the rain. This is an all year round necessity for proper chicken care.