Yes, we are here!

At CAPPER'S FARMER and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-678-4883 or by email. Stay safe!

Birdie Hygiene

Author Photo
By Rachel Falco | Jan 4, 2016

We all enjoy a good bath, right? Well, your birds are no different. They enjoy preening, bathing and cleaning themselves as well. It is an important natural behavior which keeps your birds healthy and happy.

Ducks bathing


Ducks, geese and other waterfowl bath similar to the way we bath, albeit a little messier; splashing around in water and causing a ruckus. They enjoy their daily bath and really do not keep as clean or healthy without this bath. Giving your waterfowl access to fresh, pooled water is an excellent measure to keeping your birds healthy.

Chickens taking a dust bath

Chickens, Turkeys and Other Poultry

Chickens, turkeys and other such birdies love to bath in dirt. When water penetrates and saturates these birds, it soaks their down and lowers their body temperatures to a dangerous, possibly hypothermic level. Instead, they prefer to bath in dust. The best dust baths consist of four substances which stop the spread of fleas, mites and other nasties which can infest your flock.

Wood ash, construction sand, peat moss and diatomaceous earth

Dust Bath

Provide your birds with a section of ground, covered from the rain, with a lovely dust bath comprised of one part wood ash, one part construction sand (different-sized grains of sand), one part peat moss and one part diatomaceous earth. Your birds will bath in this bath and will use it for grit all the while stopping fleas, mites, worms and parasites from taking over.

If you have an outbreak of nasties despite your best efforts (sometimes nature pulls ahead in this race), treat your birds with this easy DIY salve.

Poultry Mite and Flea Relief Salve

1 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup beeswax
3 tablespoons Neem oil
1 tablespoon dried plantain leaf

Gently melt the beeswax, coconut oil and add the dried plantain leaf using low heat for 3 hours (a crock pot is handy for this). Add the pure Neem oil and pour into small tins or glass jars.

Treatment: Rub on bird’s legs, around vents or other infected areas.

Warning: Neem oil is a very effective, natural insecticide. It will kill fleas, mites and other nasties. But be aware, it is also a spermicide. This means that fertility will diminish drastically for at least 10 days — 30 days after use around the vents of the birds.

Capper's Farmer - Your Hub for All Things Handmade

Get step-by-step instructions, DIY projects, upcycling tutorials, and more!