bath on a cold saturday morning

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SusanD, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. SusanD

    SusanD Chillin' With My Peeps

    HI,

    I discovered this morning that one of my chickens is in need of a bath (she had something vile on her feet that wiped of on my shirt and also had some crusties on her behind. I want to make sure that I don't chill her or break her weather conditioning (its 44F right now and we are expecting rain this afternoon). If I stick her feet and behind in warm water, rinse, dry her off, and stick her back outside when she feels dry to me. should that be safe?

    Also, my Mom mentioned using baking soda. I told her I would check as I wasn't sure what that would do to chicken feathers and scales?

    Thanks,

    Susan
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's probably poop.....not unusual and one reason I rarely pick up my birds.
    Unless her butt is really poopy, which could indicate an illness, just leave it be... she'll preen it off herself.

    I would not get a chicken bath wet in cold weather.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Just let her clean herself off. Chickens aren't designed to bathe in water.
     
  4. SusanD

    SusanD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately, when I checked her again this morning, it did look to me like she might have more buildup than normal (the feathers next to her vent are somewhat caked - Nothing you would notice if you weren't checking her vent area, but definitely some). I used one of my other hens for comparison, and that hen's vent area looked squeaky clean. So, I think she does need a bit of gentle (like the kind you would give a chick with pasty butt) help cleaning herself off. So, I think I will try that kind of treatment (water only as needed to clean feathers off and careful drying) rather than a full bath. Does that sound reasonable?

    As far as problem solving and ruling out any underlying illness, I suppose my next steps would be to check for mites and also to submit a sample for fecal testing? Anything else you can think of?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Fecal sample is a good idea.
    Use a hair dryer to dry bird off if you absolutely need to wet her feathers.
     
  6. SusanD

    SusanD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. I did give her a rinse off and dry her feathers. I'm not sure I would be in a hurry to do it again though, because she did seem a heat stressed (or just stressed). She was panting quite a bit, and then she drank a lot of water when she finally got to go back outside. She is dry now and snuggled next to her friends for the night. I will get a fecal sample done just in case.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They do pant when stressed, not just when hot.
     

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