SPA DAYS FOR CHICKENS
"You can seriously wash chickens?!"
In fact, yes!
Prevent fly strike if bird has poopy vent
Scrub away external parasites
Make it pretty for show
Tub large enough for your bird
Mild shampoo (e.g. Baby shampoo) (use flea and tick shampoo if bird has mites/lice)
Distilled white vinegar
Rubber gloves (if you don't like touching droppings)
Toe nail trimmer
Vegetable oil or Vet Rx
Blow drier (optional)
Corn starch or blood stopper
Dry cage (optional)
Plastic drinking cup
Get cage prepared (optional, more options in Part 2, step 4)
Get tub and mild soap ready. Make sure water is not too deep. Water level should be under the hackles.
Have someone hold your bird while filling tub with WARM water and soap, if needed.
(Some chickens have a hard time being washed. Before shows it is good to wash, also if the bird has a poopy butt or has mites.)
Place chicken in water to soak. Make sure you've got a hold of it.
Soak the bird by splashing water under the wings, working the soapy water into the fluff and using the cup to get a good control of the back of the head.
Rub any poop from fluff or feathers gently. Use rubber gloves if squeamish.
Once fully scrubbed, have a helper, if needed, to hold your bird while you rinse out the tub and fill it back up with conditioner (I use "Classic" Pantene conditioner) Run some conditioner through the feathers from the head to tail. Rinse bird (don't worry about getting all the conditioner out) and tub.
Next you can fill the tub with warm water and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Stick bird in water, run water through feathers. No need to rinse the bird-- just the tub. Quickly wrap bird in towel.
What is the use for vinegar? (Question asked by Marty1876)
Vinegar neutralizes the soap, (if any is left on) to prevent irritation.
Get toenail trimmer, corn starch or desired blood stopper, nail file, vegetable oil or Vet Rx, cotton swabs, and blow drier (optional)
1. Start off with the toe nail trimmer. If your bird has light toenails, it will be easy to see the quick. It looks like a faint red dart starting at the base of the toenail (diagram shown below). Sometimes you can accidentally cut the quick. Use a dab of cornstarch or desired bleeding stopper if that happens. If toenail is ruff after cutting, use the nail file to smooth it out.
2. Next, shake vegetable oil or Vet Rx. Use a cotton swab or your fingers to rub desired product on the comb, wattles, beak, (don't get it in the birds nostrils) shanks and toes. This will keep the given areas moist and supple.
3. Take a cotton swab or two and dampen it lightly. Swab out the birds nostrils. Don't be alarmed if your bird has lots of dirt in them (especially free ranging birds).
4. (This step depends on the color or cleanliness of your birds shanks and toes) Put some Vet Rx or vegetable oil on toothbrush, scrub the birds scales if dirty.
5. Blow dry bird using cool setting on drier, then put in dry cage. If it is a hot day, set bird in open cage in the sun to dry out.
Now you know how to wash your chicken!
I hope this helped!
Written by JerseyGiantfolk, 2012