I put a small dusting box in the coop in the summer, but it was mostly ignored. They dug holes outside and rolled and dusted there.
Yesterday I noticed a hen rolling in the dust that has spilled on the floor from the first little box, which eventually got dumped out in the corner, so I made another one for them. Just one little box for 20 hens. I filled it with sand, sifted potting soil, a little sifted wood ash and a sprinkle of DE. They LOVED it!
At first they tried to eat it and scratched a lot out of the box. It took a bit for one to get in and start scratching, then rolling and dusting herself. By that time several hens were trying to eat it and get in. A fight broke out. A real honest to goodness fight between two hens. They grabbed each other about the head and wattles, shrieking and went up into the air about 2 ft, fighting. I broke it up but not for long. It happened again, same two hens, about 5 mins later.
I had filled the box full so there was lots to divide. I got two more small boxes and divided it into three. I also tossed handfulls into the corner where that one hen was still rolling in the old stuff. I had nine hens rolling altogether in a heap in the corner having a great time. I also had two to a box in the three boxes, dusting, scratching and rolling in it. They abolutely LOVED it!!
So, today I'm going to make a very large box out of wood, about 2' x 2.5' x 8" tall with no bottom and put it in that corner. I'm going to fill it with a couple of inches of dusting mix and leave it there for everyone to use. What a great way to relieve their boredom, although they have been able to go outside for the past couple of days.
This is a pic of some of the hens still rolling in the corner. There were more but a few left to eat.