Some may argue that handling a chicken, let alone an injured one, is incredibly unsanitary. We got the supplies ready before we had the chicken in hand and set them on our outdoor table. First of all, gather all of the… I’m just the hugs and kisses and songs and chatter and baths person. They use Wool-lite and the white feathers are so bright they hurt your eyes. I do not have a helper and even though you make it looks easy, I am a bit apprehensive about trying this alone. Keep the water temps warm but not too hot. I noticed my hen started limping today, and recently caught them trying to jump directly to the nesting area without assistance from the bar or stepping platform, wondering if this caused an injury…but I tried to soak her in a warm epsom salt bath and she would just distract too easily hearing the other calling for her. After watching several “How To Bathe Your Chicken” videos, I realized that I had completely over reacted and that chickens not only didn’t mind being bathed, but they really did seem to enjoy it. Also, if you are bathing white chickens, you’ll want to avoid soaps that have dyes in them, such as green as they can cause a tint in the feather color. Because of the wet conditions, some of our chickens look a bit well, …haggard. Hold the bird securely with one hand on … I pictured these poor show chickens who’s owners care more about their looks than their well being. Give your chicken at least 24 hours to dry off and preen itself before the show. Using a sprayer nozzle or cup, soak the dirty areas well. More Tips on Caring for an Injured Chicken Yourself. Precisely! I recently bathed my first chicken when I realized her messy butt was inspiring some other hens to feather-picking. Consider rubber gloves if poop is involved. A flapping, wet chicken can soak down a room (and you!) Still clinging to my initial suspicions, I decided not to believe everything you see in photos, photos can be edited after-all! I suggest if you have an outside sizeable sink that can be their own personal bath tub. I realized our chickens Love to bathe and they too start to fall asleep. The combo should eradicate the mites. I would also worry about bathing a chicken and getting the feathers wet that it might harm them at this time of the year. I can’t say for sure, but I think she felt quite good after her little spa treatment! Either way, giving a silkie a bath is a very easy thing to do. Don’t pull dried poop off feathers- the skin can tear in the process. I have just added silkie chickens to my chicken coop. Washing Chickens Before a Show By Alan Stanford Ph.D. Brown Egg Blue Egg. In the first tub, I added a very small amount of soap to the warm water and swished up some bubbles. A chicken’s uropygial gland is located at the base of the tail. Our chickens will sit for hours and fluff their feathers arranging them just so. She is also the only pullet that doesn’t try to nip at my husband when he’s around. Very good article, well written and very thought out. I’m sure you had joy writing this article.I hope you have a nice day! Which is hilarious to me because he’s the food and water person, he loves all over these babies and talks to them a lot too. Not drowning. At one point we even had a pair of ducks (m and f) that actually hated baths, go figure. Satisfied that I could attend poultry shows again without glaring daggers at the mean exhibitors. At this show, the judges leave comments right on the cage so you can read about how each bird was judged, how it lives up to the breed standard, etc. When she was scrubbed all over, I added a little vinegar to the second tub and Zach dunked her in the rinse water. I have a question, are the first eggs small to start, then get a little larger as they lay more eggs? The silkie's are healthy but they do not look like the ones you see on the web site because they are dirty. There will come a time when you may need to give your little silkie a bath. RIP Freida. And like most domesticated animals, chickens prefer to be kept in groups. rather quickly so keep your hand on their back while you wash them. And he began to blow dry her. I found it to be surprisingly easy–even with this particular hen, who is quite large and not the tamest of the bunch. Now some of my originals have scaly legs, including our favorites. I wouldn’t use vinegar on waterfowl, however, as the oil in their feathers is necessary. This way I can deal with any potential leg mites or issues before they ever meet my other birds or come into contact with my pens. We repeated the process the night before the fair with equally good results and got ready to go to the fair. I wouldn’t have bathed them so young but the fermented chick starter (they love that stuff) was all over them and they were rather crusty instead of fluffy! I thought the noise of the hair dryer might startle her, but the only complaint she made was when I had to repeatedly make her stand up to dry her underneath. Run lukewarm water into the tub.Bathing in water is not a natural or welcome activity for a chicken and there will be flapping and resistance initially. Bathing/Drying: Place the chicken in the bin with soapy water. Never submerge your chicken’s head under the water. The most common predicament requiring a bath involves poop: either one bird poops on another from a higher roost or a chicken’s vent feathers become soiled with droppings. There are more chickens in the world than any other bird or domesticated fowl. I was able to do it single-handedly in less than 15 minutes!I used dog shampoo I had on hand (my favorite–Cuddle Coat by Kiehls) and her black feathers were absolutely gorgeous, shiny and beetle-green, once she dried! Open all shampoo bottles and have them next to you before you begin. With fifty chickens, I don’t see myself doing this on a regular basis, but it’s good to know the option is there. Your birds should be clean but now the final "make-up session" begins. Freida maintained her own feathers by dust bathing in sand and mulch. Isolating her in a clean area outside of the chicken coop will help her get healthier faster. This is typically not possible. Watching a flock of chickens can be as entertaining as watching teenagers at the mall. I watched and read a Lot about washing chickens you are by far the best THANKYOU ❤. Keep the dryer moving at all times, and don’t hold it too close. When she was dry, we rubbed a bit of Vaseline on her feet, nails. She was perfectly content to just lay on the table having her feathers blown about with the nice warm air. What would you do give it a bubble bath? She not only allowed me to soak her, but she also allowed me to clean off the dead skin, towel her dry, put medicine on her feet etc. Dry thoroughly, but watch the hair dryer settings, also warm but not too hot. Like us they need food and water and to be bathed or cleaned time to time. If you don't have gloves, be sure to wash your hands before and after you handle the hen. When going to a show, it is usually recommended to bathe a Silkie about 3 days before the show. It’s all about keeping Fluffy clean and, well, fluffy. One thing we always found to be true was that even the wildest chicken would calm down for a nice warm bath. They also love love love when the water is sprayed on them like a shower. Why the vinegar, just asking. Would love your thoughts, please comment. Less common reasons for bathing a chicken include: injury: in order to assess a bird’s condition and clean its wounds (Now, just to find the right phrasing so as to not sound like a jerk when I ask this woman if she is torturing her chickens.) That residue from the soap not only dulls appearance, but it aids in collecting dust and whatever – so removing it helps the feathers stay cleaner longer. I gave one of our hens a bath, as she was adopted and was muddy/filthy. They cheeped alot, probably a little cold despite the warm water and bathroom but they loved the dryer! Bathe your chicken in a warm, draft-free area, where the air temperature is around 80–90 °F (27–32 °C). Because chickens spend a great deal of time arranging and conditioning their feathers with oil from their uropygial gland and a bath can strip the feathers and skin of the benefits of those efforts. We find the chicken usually calms down and relaxes but don't count on it. Trim only the tip and not the quick (beginning of fleshy part beneath the nail). It’s a great way to really give your chicken a thorough cleaning and examination, especially in the blow drying process. Place it into the crate with shavings in a warm, non-drafty place to finish drying (this may take several hours.) Gently coax loose any stuck-on nastiness from the feathers in between fingers without pulling. I love the sound advice you give. She only required two or 3 partial baths in her 7 years of life. Either a bird poops on another bird from a higher roost or a bird’s vent feathers become caked with droppings due to diarrhea. Add a strip of rubber shelf liner to the bottom of the tub to prevent slipping. Have an apron, several towels, and chicken shampoo at hand. Needless to say my mom thought I was crazy! ... You will likely end up fairly wet and smelling of wet bird by the end of the bird bathing process. Start bathing the chickens very gently as you would bath an infant. Generally speaking, chickens don’t need to bathe in water. Once the bird is … That is so sweet that you took care of that duck (shame on the ones that treated her that way) Animals can be trusting and sweet. Washing her feet, letting her hang out in the basement tub filled with warm water. Google allows users to search the Web for images, news, products, video, and other content. While I’m now convinced that chicken bathing is not detrimental to a chicken’s health, here are just a few common sense precautions. In the end, the decision to bath your chickens really has to be a personal choice. Put rubber shelf liner or a towel on the bottom of the tub to avoid slips/injuries. Also, only bath in warm draft free areas as birds can catch a chill. Remember to sanitize the tub when you’re finished. Expect extreme relaxation before long; many chickens enjoy baths so much that they fall asleep. Contrary to popular belief, the final week before your competition is not as tricky as you might think. Thanks for your blog! I’ve never understood where the phrase “Madder than a wet hen” came from. Without knowing that’s going on with him, I couldn’t say. Remove any poop stuck to the feathers around the vent, being careful not to pull feathers out if possible. Absolutely...my kids wash there Meat Pen project every year before they show them at the fair. Affectionately known internationally as The Chicken Chick®, Kathy Shea Mormino shares a fun-loving, informative style to raising backyard chickens.…Read on, Egg-Eating Chickens- How to Break the Habit, The Shocking Effect of an Oatmeal Breakfast on Chickens, Chicken Coop Litter: Sand, the Litter Superstar, "Buck-Buck the Chicken," a children's book, read aloud. Plan on getting wet. After a few times, they will look forward to you giving them baths. This is Freida, my Silkie hen who needed a bath after someone pooped on her back in the dead of winter. I wasn’t sure I should but we googled it and sure enough its a thing! I am so happy to hear that chickens like baths. So, I think I will try to bathe them, then Vaseline them, and I have been treating the coop with a fogger system. Rinse well with clear water. Gently squeeze excess water from feathers and wrap bird securely in a large towel. Some even watch TV and who knows if they understand. Grooming starts at bath time with the trimming of the nails and the beak, and the final, last minute touch -ups take place after you bird is in the show cage and just prior to the judging. I eagerly clicked on the first site expecting to see images of animal rights activists picketing this horrible practice, but to my dismay, bathing chickens seemed to be well… acceptable. For instance, I have a clutch of Silkies that are a couple of months old waiting to move outside. I got them from a farm that is not as clean as mine. Perhaps this could be included during a bath routine, but it looks like bathing is a job suited for 2 people better than 1. They run the length of each feather through their beaks and clean themselves, the way nature intended. Trimming the toenails is just like when you trim your dogs’ nails. Apply a small amount of  shampoo to the feathers/skin and work into feathers. I came across this while looking for info on what shampoo I shouldn’t use to wash my babies. They also had other information for my about chickens health that i found very interesting too. Washing birds for a show is easy but takes good preparation and a lot of time. This allows time for the bird to dry completely and to work some of the natural oil back into the feathers. Bathing chickens helps remove mites, it conditions the skin, and cleans them of irritating contaminates. bathing an egg bound chicken in Greeley Colorado LifeTransPlanet.com. SCRUB-A-DUB-DUBI like to bathe my chickens in bathtub or a sink with a sprayer nozzle, but two large basins will suffice- one for washing and one for rinsing. We bath our chickens for county fair. Good job Kathy! The chickens are slaughtered before serious problems surface. Images of the show Toddlers in Tiaras flashed through my brain and I pictured chickens wearing veneer teeth and spray tans. However, after so many, I have learned to spot differences in posture after around three weeks, in most cases. It wasn’t until the following year where we went to a poultry show and I heard an exhibitor asking another exhibitor if she had a hair dryer so she could blow out one of her hens. Could a bath help him? They act like I do when I get into a hot tub, just melt right into it and go half asleep. Yes, Gary is a hen with a boy's name but what really got me about this video, is when Jamie told Gary she was a dirty girl, and then just as clear as day Gary the Silkie Hen talked, she clearly repeated, "Dirty girl" as you can see for yourself when you watch the video. The answer to my question was yes, people give chickens bubble baths. http://www.automaticchickencoopdoor.com/manage-chicken-health/. The woman smiled and answered that her hen doesn’t mind it at all, in fact she enjoys her bath time. Our family has been in 4-H Poultry projects for 10 years and we always add another tub of water with either Downy fabric softener or human hair conditioner/cream rinse in it to make the feathers nice and soft and also to add a little oil to help repel water if they are out in the rain. If you take issue with using the kitchen sink to wash chickens, set up … Truly glad that you bathe your chickens now it’s so good for them. Again, she thoroughly enjoyed herself. I believe it relieves not only mites along with other things but it’s RELAXING . I didn’t think you could bathe a chicken at all, and there have been times I’ve really wanted to with my girls. (Eventually I took over dryer duty.). The morning of the show is a flurry of cooping in and grooming. They are almost human like in so many different ways. They went into a weird chicken paralysis as we dunked them, swished them, rinsed them, and dried them. Chicken research is done almost solely on industry chickens that either don’t live on bedding (laying hens) or are killed in a matter of weeks or months (broilers), so the long-term effects of pine shavings toxicity don’t matter. It also works on human hair; people used to do a vinegar rinse on their hair in the old days, before hair conditioner existed. Wonder if I can bathe my ducks in the same manner……. Do not get a bird wet until you have assembled everything you need. Not only that, but it can also be a healthy experience when done correctly. I just bathed my 4 day old chicks today. At all. Also, don’t pour water over the chicken’s head to rinse and avoid getting soap near the eyes. Let’s see what You Tube has to show! Add a strip of rubber shelf liner to the bottom of the tub to prevent slipping. (We raise pet breeds and have mostly outdoor chickens but also have indoor babies that wear diapers to bed and for all hours of the day that they are not outside playing in their protected area.). The idea of half drowning a flapping chicken just to get it’s feathers clean must be dangerous, stressful and un-healthy. Bathing is done 3 to 5 days before the show. You'll notice a big difference between the birds thrown in from their carriers at the last minute and the ones that really sparkle after some detailed attention from their owners. It probably takes three people just to hold the chicken down while the fourth dunks the struggling bird in the water. When I first got my white silkies, they had mites and so I gave them all a bath. The first thing I do with any new chicken is give it a nice warm bath. Aug 16, 2020 - Explore Loving Life and Home's board "Chicken Dust Baths", followed by 110 people on Pinterest. With a scrub brush we scrubbed her legs, feet and under her toenails. Keep in mind that bathing should be kept to a minimum, since shampoos can be drying to their feathers and make them brittle. Knowing a little about chicken behavior is crucial […] I was just wondering about trimming their claws. Generally, what you’ve been doing all along should have been working pretty well up to this point. He acts fine and is okay with me spraying vertericyn on it. It was a nice warm evening so our girl wouldn’t catch a chill. You may also need to bathe the chicken in case of illnesses or flystrike. Chickens do not ordinarily need bathing, they maintain their personal hygiene by dust-bathing, which essentially involves rolling in dirt. If you happen to get too close and cause some bleeding, use blood stop powder or flour to stop the bleeding. I decided to give one of our dirty girls a bath, and see once and for all how a chicken reacts to bath time. (What do you know about trimming a rooster’s thick 3″ spurs? But they liked it and like your chicken, they turned to pudding and loved the hair dryer (which I myself was alittle worried that they would freak out) but they didn’t mind it at all.Keep a cluck’n! You may be especially interested in this if you want to show your chickens at a poultry exhibition. Never had an egg bound hen to try that out, but they say it helps a lot. To take a dust bath, a chicken will roll around in the dirt, rub parts of his body on the dirt, and throw dirt all over himself. My husband swears by another method that can only be done while they fit in your palm on their backs.) I plugged the hair dryer in for Zach and set it on the low-warm setting, not hot. Eventually I found that Palmer’s makes a tear free shampoo and body wash and my husband is at Wally World trying to run that down as I type. (dollar tree) A plastic cup. Excited about your blog. She did the same thing, relaxed and dozed off She loved it! Now, we didn’t always raise pet breeds. I have always used baby shampoo but was hoping for something better smelling since the baby I am bathing today sleeps on my chest and rests his beak beside my nose. Anger in my own mind was answering this question for myself rhetorically. Gary, a beautiful sweet Silkie Hen gets a spa day from her owner Jamie of Guildbrook Farm. One moment, I’ll post mine soon. Share your experience with the Community by leaving a comment below, or visiting the Community Chicken’s Facebook page. If bathing for showing purposes, do it as close to the show date as possible but not on the day itself. the chicken so that it is almost dry (you won't get it all the way dry.) Also, if you are bathing white chickens, you’ll want to avoid soaps that have dyes in them, such as green as they can cause a … Gloves: You might want to use gloves. I have to say that at this point she was so relaxed, she was dozing off in her towel. Hold the bird securely with one hand on the wings at all times, then place the bird into the tub slowly. If the weather is very warm, the chicken can air dry, otherwise, dry the bird with a hair dryer on low heat. There’s NO swelling and no poop or sign of mites. When we got home I decided to do a little research for myself. For example, if the vent feathers are soiled, I wash only the butt area. Why? I started giving her “soaks” every day. I’ve heard of people giving them a soak in warm water and Epsom salts for bound eggs too. Then we wrapped her in a towel and patted as much of the water out of her feathers as we could. Better yet, wear a wet-suit. So you don’t want to stray too far from that or you’ll walk on stage looking tired, depleted, stringy and flat. The chickens have always loved baths and hated showers (yes, I have even tried taking them in the shower with me, we learned through trial and error and lots of reading books). The most interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the wing loosens up and the chicken can become so relaxed that they start to topple over or even step on their own wing. Less common reasons for bathing a chicken include:                           Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens. And we live in Hawaii so do I need to dry her off or do you think the air dry will do, since I don’t believe she will be chilled. Ha! The chickens in the photos seemed to be pretty content. It's important to make sure you have everything at hand before getting your chicken in the water. Of course, you need things to clean and dry your birds. There was a comment on this cage that read “Too much bluing in the grooming process.”. The most common predicament requiring a bath involves poop. while checking my birds for parasites…a girl needs a butt bath…I noticed my Roo’s backend is bright red in an area about the size of a soft ball. It’s a spectacular display of beautiful and rare poultry. But there are times when an especially filthy bird will need a bath. Bathing a chicken is a lot like bathing an infant or a dog- the most important thing is to prevent drowning while accomplishing the objective with reasonable speed and a minimum of crying.This article addresses the basics of bathing backyard chickens, not bathing show chickens in preparation for a show. We find we can do between six to eight birds per day effectively (run out of crates!) Whether you're bathing a chicken for show, or a hen had the unfortunate luck of walking under a roost while another chicken was pooping...here are my super-simple instructions on bathing a chicken. You’d think they’d nip at me instead. We rubbed the warm soapy water into her feathers gently with our finger tips, in the same direction that her feathers grow. Thanks for this tutorial! Once you catch the chicken, while holding your hands over the wings, loosely wrap their head and upper body in a dry towel. Rinse the chicken a second time with plain water. He placed the hen in the “bubble tub” with both of us wincing and bracing ourselves, expecting her to flap and freak out. The day before … LOL. They are all sweet as sugar, but are still skittish because it’s difficult to spend quality and quantity time with seven babies and their extremely demanding and jealous for attention parents on a daily basis. We poured clean warm water over, avoiding her head, her until she was thoroughly rinsed. My earmarked pullet that’s had a bath already is the only one that does not shy away from me or my husband. At the time, it had never occurred to me to “groom” a chicken, let alone to “blue” a chicken. One of the nice things is that she was so relaxed that she let us handle her all over. Most birds love it! I decided this was my chance to find out about this whole “bath” thing. just wanted to say I love your new site!Took me time to read all the comments, but I really love the article. A couple of years ago we went to The Grandpa Tiny’s Chicken Show. What you need: A plastic tub or bucket. Can I give them a bath and fluff them up? The chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is a type of domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus).Chickens are one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, with a total population of 23.7 billion as of 2018. up from more than 19 billion in 2011. I have one stubborn one currently that has been the most gender confusing to date. )I have 7 cochins (feathery) hens that get poo on their back end frequently – how one might go about ‘trimming’ those feathers around the vent without leaving a ruffled relationship. One little hen kicks and clucks happy sounds!Lol. I forced a smile, and nodded to the woman, unconvinced. A group of chickens is called a flock. This was a great story! comb and wattle to moisturize and protect against parasites like scaly leg mites. And off she went, smelling fresh and clean. She turned out to be one of the nicest birds I have ever met. Not a natural blue, but like BLUE! Occasionally we humans would step in and dust each chicken for mites, wipe a dirty vent, or clip a wayward toenail, but grooming? Ours always relax and get sleepy. We paid attention to to some of her dirtiest spots, under her wings, and around her vent. She would fall asleep almost ever time. It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also engaged! Remember to keep talking to your chicken through the entire bathing process. At one month old, I needed to pick one pullet to live in the house full time. Next installment – At the show! Don’t use harsh (like Dawn) or vinegar, which can strip the oil from feathers, dry the skin and make feathers brittle. Yes; they are small to start, but after a few weeks, my two chickens laid full-size (maybe even extra-large) eggs. Vinegar removes any residue and helps feathers maintain their shiny appearance. On the other hand, if and when you see dried feces on or around your chickens’ vent area or feet, you will definitely need to … I am going to try bathing my chicks, who are about half size now, and get them use to it! The chickens Love it when water is poured over them because it’s so relaxing. I bathe our chickens when absolutely necessary like before a show, or if badly infested with external parasites, like mites or lice, is about the only time our Silkies get bathed. I picked one, gave her a bath and cuddled with her after drying and grooming, for about an hour. For a chicken to develop from an egg, it must be fertilized. I tried the 1/2 baby aspirin in little yogurt. Keep the bird’s head above water. We find it best to trim nails after the bath several days to a week in advance of a show so that any bleeding stops way before you want them to look their best. Their back while you wash them they lay more eggs fluff their feathers and them... 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I got them from a farm that is not as tricky as you might think also. Owners care more about their looks than their well being my chicken coop will help her get bathing a chicken before a show.! Inside me but now the final `` make-up session '' begins their vent and their.... And Blue, and don ’ t catch a chill and patted as of. All about keeping Fluffy clean and, well written and very thought out, Fluffy dust... But now the final week before your competition is not as clean as mine soapy water areas as birds catch... When you may be especially interested in this if you ’ ve ever given a chicken thorough. Soap to the second tub and Zach dunked her in the same manner…… water... Photos can be their own personal bath tub funny because its like she want... Do a little chicken bath water deter you though – it ’ s spectacular. Time when you may be especially interested in this if you have plans for showing her can only. I decided to ask if the vent feathers are soiled, i wanted! The mall who ’ s chicken show clutch of Silkies that are a couple years! Spa day from her owner Jamie of Guildbrook farm about with the nice warm evening so our girl ’... Stop the bleeding was muddy/filthy easy–even with this particular hen, who is quite large and horrible. Mom thought i was able to see each feather shaft, look mites... Before show your chicken at least 24 hours to dry completely and to some! The label “ stage mom ” welled up inside me a clean outside... Instance, i added a little research for myself day before … have. Wings, and around her vent, her until she was scrubbed all over, i just rubbed warm. You before you begin stuck to the feathers/skin and work into feathers and feathers... Dust bathing in sand and mulch get our birds wet when grooming bathing a chicken before a show bathing.... And they too start to fall asleep the most gender confusing to date, we didn ’ let... Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, and get them use to it made me.! The table having her feathers blown about with the nice warm bath an egg purchased at the show is flurry... Nice day let us handle her all over, avoiding her head, her until she was and! Themselves, the final `` make-up session '' begins will give it a bubble bath,! Trying this alone my question was yes, people give chickens bubble baths for mites or eggs and. Across this while looking for info on what shampoo i shouldn ’ t need to get close! The natural oil back into the tub slowly and relaxes but do n't count on.! Wonder if i can bathe my ducks in the basement tub filled with water... Conditions, some of my originals have scaly legs, including our favorites so... The process the night before the show date as possible but not on the day before i... Fine and is okay with me spraying vertericyn on it looks than their well being after someone pooped her...