Lately our chickens have been digging shallow holes, about the size of large salad bowls, at random places around the old farm yard. They hop in and flop around, fluff their feathers, make little dusty eruptions of powdered earth.

Dust bath

I’m not sure why they do this, but I believe they’re taking dust baths.

They hunker down in the craters and, once the bath is complete, lay their heads down so they look kinda dead. Every so often a head periscopes up—watching for fox, I assume—then, finding the coast clear, go back to “sleep.”

Periscope up

If I get too close they pop out, rouse, and cackle away trailing smoke as if they’re on fire.

It’s creating hazards for the riding lawn mower.