Can you give ducks a bath w/ soap?


8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
My ducks smell and I want to give them a bath, but could I use soap? I don't want it to disrupt their natural oils, but I want them to be clean! Is there a special kind of soap I can use? And I wouldn't use a lot of soap on them either, just a tiny bit!
I've heard that dawn dish soap is safe for ducks and other animals. I've never tried it, but you could look into it. They probable have it on their website. I heard that's what they used on a lot of the waterfowl when they had the oilspill in the gulf.
what do they smell like??? all they need is a tub or pool of clean water and time in there long enough to submerge and bathe (swim time ), they will clean themselves....I would only use something like (dawn dishsoap) if there was an extreme case of grease / oil etc..... using anything you are taking a chance of something going wrong..
when i take my 3 week old ducklings out to play they're usually a little nasty
i let them swim in their pool for a while and they come out nice and clean
no stinky smell or anything, which is good cause they're spoiled and come inside my house with me
There is a pic of my duck's head after a Dawn wash on my BYC page (look to the left for the link). It seemed to have removed the natural oils. Luckily all I did was his head. I would just put yours in clean water and let them do what they do and let them air dry in the sun. Mine always smell so good from this I wish I could bottle it. Let nature do it's thing!
I just give mine a tub of clean water and they clean themselves.

However, if you want to bathe, go down to the feed store and buy a tub of Orvis. Mix one Tablespoon of Orvis into a gallon of warm water. Stroke that into the feathers, in the direction that the feathers lie, so you don't break them.

Rinse really well. At least 3 rinses and put a little bit of vinegar into the next to the last rinse to help cut any soap that remains. Then rinse again to get the vinegar off. You want to be really certain that not even a single molecule of soap remains on the duck.

Don't get any soap into the duck's eyes.
Brilliant, washing ducks with soap! Thats an awesome question!
. But in my experience they smell good after a bath in some clean water. Soon as I clean my pond out, they come bombing into it, splash around for 20 mins and then they are clean again, as for the pond, thats a different story!
If you have no way for them to bathe, then dawn dish soap is the way to go. It does remove the natural oils from the feathers for a day or two, but the ducks preen it back on. If you don't have a big pond or bath pan, then there is no need to worry about the lack of natural oils since the ducks will not be getting themselves wet.

I have always bathed my ducks before shows and such and have never had a problem. I used to raise white pekins and a bathed pekin shines in the sun. Just bathe them a day before the show to regain the oils.

Part of the reason that washed ducks become waterlogged is that soap attracts water naturally. Be sure all the soap is rinsed thoroughly and this problem can be avoided.
When I first got my ducks they had been kept in a small muddy mucky stall and smelled really bad. My car stank for days after I brought them home. I gave them a plastic tub, and they cleaned themselves up until they were spotless. I did have to change the water about every 15 minutes until they were done. There are commercials on TV which show people washing ducks that were in oil spill with dawn dishwashing soap. But that is only to cut the oil. If it is just organic matter the ducks should be able to clean themselves with just adequate water.
My duckling would get the newspaper wet and lay just in the spots that were wet which made him smell like sweaty sour smelling so I would give him a bath
and that water only wouldn't help so I would use Olay bath bar and rub some on his underside and it washed out and made him more white and clean.

Dawn works too, but I like the bath bar since it makes his feathers from black to very clean!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom