Personal hygiene is important whether you are a human or a hen. We have an area of wood chip in the part of the garden that the hens occupy and this provides perfect conditions for a dust bath when the weather is dry. The new girls seem to be especially keen

I even managed to get a little film of Mags in action:

Oh for it to be that easy for humans! Over the years of writing this blog, I’ve pondered several times about eco-friendly grooming, finally settling on buying shampoo in bulk (I haven’t yet found a shampoo bar I like, although I haven’t given up on the idea) and washing with real soap (bars not liquid). I’ve tried a number of different soaps and particularly like the stuff made out of goats’ milk. Sadly, the little business that I bought some from a couple of months ago don’t have any in stock at the moment, so a new search was required… and I’m pleased to say that I’ve found a company that not only makes soap without the use of any palm oil, they also don’t use plastic in their packaging. I’ve only just ordered from The All Natural Soap Company so I can’t show you a picture and I can’t say for sure whether they live up to their own description, but I have high hopes… I will report back.

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  1. nettyg

     /  June 10, 2016

    My grandkids used to say the chooks were playing their ” help the fox got me ” game when they dustbathed. They do look distressed. Have you tried no shampoo, I just clean my scalp with carb soda made into a paste with a little apple cider vinegar, then a rinse with chamomile tea….or you can rosemary if your hair is dark. Takes a few weeks for your hair to detox and adjust, but then it’s good. I’m surprised you don’t make your own soap?

    • Because I go swimming twice a week, I’m forced into using some sort of shampoo. I will keep experimenting, though. And that does sound like a much better use for camomile tea than drinking it!

  2. Ann

     /  June 10, 2016

    We are pondering the best way to provide dust bath facilities for our garden birds – suggestions welcome. As for soap, we use The Warwickshire Soap Company Ltd – as they hand make it and it is OK for Steve’s sensitive skin.
    Oh, and the books arrived, thank you. XX

  3. I have at times envied critters their dirt baths, but not enough to try it. 🙂 There are a lot of web sites that tell you how to make your own natural shampoo. It usually involves a baking soda (carb soda?) wash with vinegar rinse. Apparently that keeps the PH balance right.

  4. Utterly charming. I love watching wild birds having a dust bath too, it looks blissful. I wonder should we try it!

    • Sadly I didn’t mange t film the huge cloud of dust that came off Aliss 2 when she got out of her hole and shook herself. That was enough to make me sneeze, so I think I’m going to avoid the dust bath myself!

  5. Ann

     /  June 11, 2016

    I was wondering…. 🙂

  6. Heehee, nice to see your hens celebrating a break from the rain with a nice dust bath! And I also prefer bars of soap to liquid shower gel… it cleans better, lasts longer and is cheaper! What’s not to love? If you’re ever over this side of the Irish Sea, look out for Baressential soaps – natural ingredients, minimal packaging and they look and smell divine!


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