Chicken feels DIRTY


8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
She looks clean but when you touch her her feathers are grimy. It's like touching a dirty dog - you need to wash your hands after.
I've given her baths, I've dusted for lice. She was feather picking- I upped the protein and that seemed to solve the problem. The other birds are silky soft- just as she was a few months ago. I'm out of ideas.
Any clue??

She's a 2 year old barred rock, if that matters. My other hen is suffering from ascites and still has soft clean feathers.
Some chickens just don't keep them selves as well oiled and preened as others. If you want to clean her, give her a bath. Get three tubs of water: the 1st one with water with some mild shampoo in it, the 2nd one with plain water for rinsing, and the 3rd tub with water that has 1/4 cup of vinegar in it (this will help strip any excess soap from the feathers). The water should be 90-95 degrees F.

Line the tubs up in a row. Perhaps with the assistance of another person, move your bird through all the tubs. Start in the first tub. Thoroughly rub the soapy water into her feathers, paying special attention the the legs and vent area. Then, move on to the plain water rinse tub. Swish your hen around in the water until you think she is well rinsed. Finally, put your hen in the vinegar rise tub. Let her sit in the tub for a few minutes, and then take her out and dry her the best you can with a towel.

After the washing, you can either let your hen dry off away from the other birds (I would recommend this), or you can put her back in with them. She'll probably finish drying in less than 24 hours. After the bath, her feathers should (and hopefully will) be silky, just like those of your other chickens.
A few months ago she was soft and clean. And then she started feather picking. I've given her a few baths Hoping to solve the feather picking and I think they made her feel worse (I didn't use vinegar tho....maybe that's the key). I was thinking it could be something internal? Did she just get lazy?
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It wasn't enlarged but looked dry and maybe clogged (can that happen?). I squeezed it and nothing came out. Her feathers all seem very dry and brittle at the base and no down. I gave her a dose of nutri-drench while I was dosing the ascites chicken. What is wrong with her????


Sorry- it's hard to get a good pic
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