bathing chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rebecca1, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Rebecca1

    Rebecca1 In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    I just picked up a few chickens that are in pretty bad shape they smell, are covered in poo and have feet issues which I am thinking may be lack of proper diet. what is a safe product to bath them with should they be vacinated with somthing before they go in with the other chickens or just watched in a seperate area for a time period to look for illness.

  2. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Songster

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Quarantine them first for a week for any illnesses as they'll get used to each other like that then bath them
  3. IdealisticRoo

    IdealisticRoo Chicken Tender

    Oct 18, 2010
    We used to bathe chickens before the fair to make them look nice when I was in 4-H

    Now, I really only worry about their feet. If I purchase or rescue a new adult bird (doesn't happen very often) and they have poo caked on their feet, I will wash the feet and then put vaseline, mineral oil or kerosene on them. What I use depends on how severe the leg mites are and what I have available at the time.

    If the birds have access to loose dirt, they will clean themselves. I don't know how a dirty white bird will come clean in a dirt bath and a preening, but they do!
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    1. Inspect for scaly leg mites. There are lots of pics of this on BYC. Treatable.
    2. Inspect for mites/lice around the vent. Treatable.
    3. Inspect the poo for worms. Treatable.
    4. Inspect for respiratory ailments. You will need to quarantine for about a month and then you could put a "sacrificial chicken" in there with them to see if she gets sick.

    There are diseases that can pass your quarantine because they could be asymptomatic carriers (and even the hatching eggs can pass it to the next generation).

    If you have a very small flock and no facilities to carry out a quarantine, some opt not to do it.

    Be aware that even if you see no mites or lice (or worms) they could still be there. Use your intuition- if they are losing weight with diarrhea (not just caecal poos which are normal) it might be worms. If you feel itchy and/or get bug bites when you hold your chickens, it might be mites.

    I personally would use a good flea/tick shampoo to bathe them in and blow them dry to prevent them from getting chilled. Also I would dip the feet in mineral oil for two weeks daily if you notice raising of the scales on the feet and legs (mites).

    All treatments for worms and mites/lice need to be repeated around 10 days.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    I'd likely skip on the bathing, soap and water is going to strip off natual oils. They will dust bathe and groom themselves if given a some clean dry sand.

    Quarantine is more than just a good idea, esp if the birds are from a questionable soures or of questionable health. Durring quarantine it can also be a good idea to worm them and at least check for mites.

    Quarantine is not easy though, just a separate pen in the same area might not be good enough and care must be take to keep food and water separate, always feed your flock first and the new ones second then wash boots ect. If things get tracked back and forth between your flock and the quarantine birds the effort will be of little value.

    Seems most people in the know will keep new birds separate for a good month before introduction due to incubation periods. Also if you want to be cautious you can bring a sacraficial bird from your existing flock to the new birds to make sure the new birds won't be bringing something into the flock.

    Edit... good post above beat me to it! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  7. hurricanerb

    hurricanerb In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2012
    Something that works really well to clean up chicken feathers is ACV. My little chick once had his whole back end full of poo, and I could not get him clean with just warm water or soap. I came online here to look for a better cure and found people using ACV. I tried a little bit of it (not soaking him in it or anything, just dabbing him with a wet paper towel) and it completely cured whatever his issue was on the back end. Very effective and mild.

  8. jesskoot

    jesskoot In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    Central VA
    What is ACV?
  9. Chicken Lover 1

    Chicken Lover 1 Chirping

    Feb 1, 2012
    santa rosa california
    what is it
  10. Mama Jo

    Mama Jo Hatching

    Jul 7, 2012
    My daughter in 4 H bathes her show birds in Aussie shampoo for dry hair and then rinses them thouroughly. They love it and they feel soft and clean. Somehow their natural oils seem to stay.

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