Chicken Soak for Cleaning

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AnimalGirl118, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. AnimalGirl118

    AnimalGirl118 New Egg

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    Feb 24, 2015
    I'm planning on cleaning my girl's butt feathers for when it's warm enough. They've been trapped in the coop literally all winter, and still will be in there until it's warm enough. Before I soak them I have a few questions.

    1. How much water should I put in the kiddy pool? Just a little so they can lay down it in and be fine?
    2. Should the water be cold or hot? Or medium?
    3. Do I need to put anything in the water?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  2. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    If there are clumps of droppings hanging off the back feathers, you can do a couple of things to make them more comfortable (big globs will pull the feathers, pulling on the skin). First is to make the poop clump crumble by crushing it between your finger and thumb - pinch! Second, you could clip the feathers, but be aware they won't "grow" back, you will have to wait til they molt.

    If they are in bad enough shape, you can bathe them in the house in the middle of winter. If you are squeamish about using your sink, you can do it in a big plastic storage tote, or big mop pail. Use warm water, not burning hot, but about as warm as y ou like your own bath. skip the soap, and just swish the feathers. Lots of chickens relax in the water, some are a little panicky about the strange surroundings.

    If you are going to bathe them in the house/heated garage....be sure to set up first - get towels out, get a hair dryer out, get a rag out. Have it all ready so you can just bring the chicken in and pop her in the bath. If you are nervous, have a helper. If the chicken starts struggling, you can put a dry washcloth or rag over her head, and she will settle down.

    Towel dry and then use a blow dryer. I have never had a hen object to a hair dryer - just use your common sense and make sure you are keeping a hand where ever the hot blow dryer is blowing so you know you aren't burning the chicken. You will want to make sure in the winter that the feathers are dry all the way - under the wing, everywhere. Because the blow dryer really warms them up, let them cool down in the house before you bring them back outside.

    If you want to wait til warmer weather, you do not need to fill up a kiddy pool with warm bath water. You can bath them in a 5 gallon pail, big tote, whatever.

    They will not take a bath by themselves, you will need to place them in the water, keep a hand on their back til they settle down, swish the dirt off, and dry them afterwards. If it is really a hot summer day, you could let them air dry.

    If you don't use soap, and in my opinion there is no need to do that unless they have gotten into some grease - you won't have to rinse them. If you are going to use soap, you will need to rinse them thoroughly so figure out how to do that.

    Unless these are a special breed of chicken, I would figure out how to make it possible for them to be outside at least some of the time in the winter. I live in northern minnesota, and my chickens are outside almost every day - there are just a few days in the winter when it is -30 that I keep them in. Outdoor air is healthier for them....sunshine is good....

    Good luck!
     
  3. AnimalGirl118

    AnimalGirl118 New Egg

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    @lalaland Thanks! I'll probably be bathing them myself, unless they get too out of control. My chickens are considered "tame" in my look of things because they like to be handled and love to follow me around. I will probably be doing it in the summer when they can air dry. Thanks for responding!
     
  4. AnimalGirl118

    AnimalGirl118 New Egg

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    @lalaland And I do let them out at least 20 minutes a day just in the pen, I just clear out the snow but they can't free range like they usually do. They can't stretch their legs enough because of the leftover snow in the bottom of the pen, because it's basically a sheet of ice that I can't scrape up. The pen is 16ftx4ft. They basically just hang out in the rafters the whole time because the ground is too cold.
     
  5. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    sounds great. ;you can always put hay down on top of the ice/snow pack....I know someone in new york who with all the snow has been putting cardboard down ...but your setup might be just fine as it is.
     

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