Dustbathing area
Enrichment type:
Items Required:
sandbox, shovel, sand, peat moss
chicken turkey

Dustbathing Area

Chickens and turkeys dustbathe as a means of improving the appearance and condition of their feathers. Dustbathing consists of tossing the litter onto and between the fluffed feathers and subsequently enclosing it by flattening the feathers (Van 1992). Chickens prefer rolling in a substrate that is composed of smaller diameter particles (such as that of sand or peat moss).


  1. Van Liere, D. W. 1992. The significance of fowl's bathing in dust. Animal Welfare 1, 187-202.
  2. Van Liere, D. W., Bokma, S. 1987. Short-term feather maintenance as a function of dust-bathing in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 18, 197-204.
  3. de Jong, I. C., Wolthuis-Fillerup, M., van Reenen, C. G. 2007. Strength of preference for dustbathing and foraging substrates in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 104(1-2), 24-36.