Aack! Had to give a chicken a mini-bath this morning

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by elmo, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Here we are expecting the coldest weather of the season to hit tonight (several days of below freezing temps, with nights dipping into the teens, not usual for Dallas), and I come out this morning to find one of our hens stood under the roost while another one did a nice, big, juicy, cecal poop right on her back. Yuck!

    I used paper towels to clean as much of it off as possible, but it left matted feathers, no good for keeping warm. So I brought her inside, and used some washcloths dipped in warm water to clean more of the goo off. I'm not sure that I got it all, but I didn't want to really wet her down. I used a blow dryer on the cool setting to dry her some, and now she's in a cage in our bird room at 64 degrees until I see that these feathers have completely dried. I'm worried about her getting too acclimated to indoor temperatures to go back outside. And to top it all off, this is the hen that has been trying to go broody for the last few weeks, so she hasn't been eating as much as she should.

    What else should I be doing?
     
  2. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    Yuck! She was in the wrong place at the wrong time!

    I'm sure she'll be just fine... if you want to help her get used to the cold, you could move her to a cooler place now that she is mostly dry, like the basement or garage. Then back outside when you feel ready. I live in New England and I am astonished at how cold tolerant my birds are! Don't worry too much... they are tough creatures!
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I know...but asking me not to worry (like my husband did on his way out the door this morning) is almost like asking me not to breathe. I just can't do it. This is my first winter with chickens, and Billina (the chicken that got pooped on) is our first chicken. She was the only chick to survive in a clutch, and we had her by herself for two weeks before we got four other chicks to join her. She's also our only D'Uccle/Serama ...the others are OEGB crosses.

    I've already been putting the whole flock in the garage on freezing nights because the garage has so far stayed above freezing. But these next few days are going to be seriously cold. We bought an oil filled radiator that I have running now out on the breezeway to burn off any coatings that could emit toxic fumes. I'm hoping that running the radiator will keep the temps in the garage above freezing for the next few days.
     
  4. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Just acclimate her before sending her back out [​IMG]

    And don't worry about keeping them above freezing! Dad told me last night -- and I hadn't realized this when it happened -- that we'd already had a night where we went down to -2 F. My chickens were outside, and quite happy that night. They're tough little buggers, especially the hens (my roo's a whiner [​IMG] ).
     
  5. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL! I am a chicken worrier too! I know it is easier said than done. Since she's a little girl it is probably good that you have arrangements for heating... I've read that banties are less cold tolerant. But she'll be fine! Really!
     

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