I have seen a lot of dust bath posts lately. There are so many great ideas....so many different ways to make a dust bath for your chickens. Ours were given to us and the chickens love them. They are a re-use project...so I thought I'd post about it so you can see how we recycled 1 barrel to make 2 dust baths for the chickens.
Last summer hubby's Uncle called and said "wait till you see what I'm bringing you!" He showed up about 20 minutes later with what looked like a rain barrel cut in half. It was super simple, he had cut the barrel in half then removed the top and bottom. We put one in the main coop and one outside the Silkie coop. We bought some bagged sand and put 2 bags in each one. I prefer contractor sand or all-purpose sand. It's not as fine as play sand, and I like that there are all different sizes of sand particles in it.
I added another bag into each one this year. I'm not sure if they managed to kick it out, carry it out on their feathers or it just sorta 'settled'. It seemed low, so I added more. (Franki wanted to know what I was doing to her beloved dust tub!lol)
It keeps most of the chickens from dust-bathing in my flower gardens! Most....I said! lol We recycled a barrel that was leaking and going to get thrown away and it got a new life. Well, 2 new lives actually!
In hindsight I would bury it deeper into the ground. Our ground is all rocky and there are lots of roots in those spots. The tractor didn't fit in either location, so we hand dug it and gave up way too soon. The one in the run makes a great perch for the babies to watch the other birds play when their on lockdown in the run, so it serves 2 purposes. I add a little bit of DE (Diatomaceous Earth) and some wood ash to the sand about once a month to help keep the chickens parasite free. It seems to be working...we haven't had a mite issue in a long time!