Can you give a chicken a bath?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wbruder17, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I have a couple of silkies and cochin bantams that have become a little dirty in the winter months. I regularly clip any matts or feathers that may be cumbersome or uncomfortable, but I'm wondering if it is possible to give a chicken a bath to help them smell a little better and be cleaner when spring and summer comes. They enjoy being held, and I wanr to be able to do this without the unpleasantness of the issue.

  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Yep. People who show do it all the time. [​IMG]
  3. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    What type of soap do you suggest? Could I use regular organic homemade bars?
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    I use dog shampoo. I don't know about using bars, it might concentrate the soap on the feather too much, which causes fretting and drying of the feathers. I use two BIG litter boxes in my bathtub, and put the soap right into the water in one, and then plain water in the second one.

  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I had to give one of my bantams a mini-bath last winter when a cecal poop from one of her flock mates landed right on her back, matting down her feathers and taking away their insulating properties. I brought her indoors and used warm water and a washcloth with a tiny bit of baby shampoo to clean the dirty area, then I used a hairdryer set on low to blow dry just the wet spot a bit. After that, I put her in a bird cage indoors for a couple of hours to let her finish drying naturally before she went back out to the coop.

    In the spring or summer when the temps aren't as cold, you probably don't need to be as careful about avoiding chilling, but still be cautious about it. Once feathers are wet the chicken loses its ability to retain body heat.
  6. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Yep! I get my white silkies out and wash them with this blue shampoo that makes them shine....

    My goodness... they LOVE the blow dryer!!!! [​IMG] They just stand there and enjoy... or will try to get too close because its so warm.

    Don't forget, don't put them back outside until the are completely dry all the way. [​IMG]
  7. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I use laundry powder, the 'free' ones, its mild enough not the hurt the bird, if you google 'chicken bathing' you can get detailed instructions, the 4h one are the best

  8. Dead Rabbit

    Dead Rabbit Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    a lil dish detergent in a bucket of water and dip them up to their heads. then clean their faces with cloth or perhaps some witch hazel. this method is only good in summer time. unless your going to keep them in and blow dry them.

    this method is also good for delousing your fowl.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I use Dawn. They use it on oil-fouled birds and it's safe to use on them, so I use just a smidgeon with a lot of warm water on any filthy chicken I need to clean.

    And that has happened maybe four times......
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

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