We've had such a cool, wet summer around these parts that it's been branded the "bummer summer" by some. If we ever do finally get a nice, hot day (or heaven forbid, two in a row), it's almost sure to rain within 48 hours. Needless to say, there haven't been nearly enough beach days for our liking, and I'm starting to worry that we're not going to meet our quota for this year. The upside to this is that I haven't had to water my garden once this summer, and our grass is still nice and green.
Dark Brahma sisters enjoying a bath.
Thankfully (as far as these two are concerned) our soil is so devoid of organic matter that it dries out very quickly, making the conditions perfect for a dust bath. The hens routinely dig great pits in their attempts to get "clean", and I have had to fence off several of my beds in order to give the plants a fighting chance. Sometimes I wonder what the heck I was thinking when I decided to share my garden with these chicks, but they derive so much joy from this simple activity that I don't have the heart to deny them, and have surrendered several prime planting areas to their fowl ways.
The one busy shaking herself off is Pippin' (or "eagle bait" as she's fondly referred to around here). Not only did she survive being grabbed in the head by an eagle in April, but when he came back six weeks later and tried to pick her up by the back, she just shook it off and trotted back to the coop like nothing happened.
With a "pair" like that, I think the girl is entitled to a dust bath or two.