1st show on Sat, washed white silkie, crest still dingy looking, help!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by lceh, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Virginia
    My 7 y.o. DD is entering her first showmanship competition this Saturday. This afternoon we washed Fluffina, her (hatchery) white silkie. We used baby shampoo in the first tub, warm water and white vinegar in the second, and warm water with a few drops of bluing in the third. I admit, I used a pretty light hand with the bluing because I was scared we'd have a blue bird if I didn't . We shampooed her crest twice, and I rinsed it with the bluing water. After we used the blow dryer on her she looks pretty, but her crest and the back of her neck is still dingier than the rest of her. Is there anything we can do to get it whiter without washing the whole bird again? When I was a kid I competed in Pony Club with a white horse, and in addition to a bluing rinse on her tail I also used a white hair dye called "White Minx" and rinsed it out. I'd be hesitant to do anything like this so close to a bird's eyes, though. Do any of you know how to get a white silkie's crest really white? Is there anything we can work into the crest to whiten it without having to get her wet all over? And how do the crest and the back of the neck get so dingy looking anyhow?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    When you say dingy, do you mean brassy looking or do you mean greyish?

    Occasionally northern fowl mites make an unholy mess of the crest and it looks grey. Spread the feathers apart and see if you see anything black and crusty near the skin on her crest. If so, yes, you need to re-wash the entire bird with flea and tick shampoo, and gently pull the scaley stuff off. You will also need to treat teh coop and all other birds. Greyish could also come from too much bluing absorbed into the feathers.

    If you mean brassy, then the feathers are either stained or more likely sunburned. Try soaking the crest thoroughly in white vinegar and letting it set for awhile, then rinsing. You can also try using Spray & Wash stain remover in a similar manner. Sunburn cannot be removed from a feather. Dying the feathers is considered faking, so that is a no-no, and could get the bird and possibly your daughter disqualified.
     
  3. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the response! Yes, I think "brassy" is the word - kind of a yellowish color. She is outside all day, so I guess that explains it. We didn't see any evidence of yuck or bugs on her skin anywhere. Thanks for the heads-up on the hair treatment too, yikes! Can you tell we're newbies?

    If I tried the Spray & Wash, just in case it is staining and not sun damage, how do you rinse it out without getting it in her eyes?
     
  4. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    ky
    hold her upside down and rinse
     
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    I wash and rinse with water running from the faucet. Just make sure her eyes and beak are outside the flow, and that the flow goes away from them.
     
  6. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Try this, if it's not too late (sorry I didn't see this yesterday):

    Get some Tide with bleach alternative (yes, really.) Use that to wash her with. Let it soak in for about five minutes or so if you can. Then rinse carefully. That should really help the white look whiter (might not fix it all, but will be better.)

    Good luck!

    Laura
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  7. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    Quote:[​IMG] I second this. Tide (with bleach alternative! That's important!) is da bomb for icky white crests!

    I also hold upside down to wash crests. I wash the crest before the rest of the bird. I wrap the bird up, burrito style, in a small towel (keeps them contained in a nice tidy package [​IMG]), and just hold them upside down over a bucket to wash then under the faucet to rinse. I kind of hold them like a football in the crook of my right arm, and then I can use my right hand to support their head/neck. This leaves my left hand free to wash and rinse.

    Good luck at the show! [​IMG]
     
  8. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Virginia
    Well, we tried Shout this afternoon on her foot feathers and crest. There's definitely some improvement, but she still looks a little sunburned, alas. Next time we'll definitely try the Tide. In the meantime, I'm working to encourage DD to choose a bantam breed for showmanship in a nice, dark color with no foot feathers or crest! She does love her silkie, though.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  9. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:LOL, I hear you! Part of why we got into Dutch bantams, small birds, easy to wash and use for showmanship, and better for kids to work with, IMO.
     

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