cleaning up a cochin's rear side? and question about night temps in NC

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickmomma03, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 cuckoo cochins, and they arent the "neatest" girls to say the least when it comes to poop on their hind fur. I know it can cause problems. It wasn't too bad before because the other girls seemed to sort of "look after" them and help out. Today though, I noticed their rear is a little messier than I care for. I want to clean it up. It's getting cooler here at night though so I don't want to really trim it if I can help it, they need the warmth. I'm thinking about pulling the 2 girls out and cleaning them off in the house before bringing them back outside (dry), but I don't want to create flock issues or anything. Will it/could it cause problems? And what's the best way to handle cleaning up the fur? They were hand raised since day old, so they're use to being handled (I don't hold them now, but they do like being pet a little still sometimes).

    Other question. I'm in the valley in NC, in between mountains and beaches. It doesn't typically get TOO cold, but it can during the winter sometimes dip down. When should I, or should I worry about lighting in the coop? I don't want to create a fire hazard, but I don't want them to freeze to death, get sick, or get frost bite or anything like that. My coop isn't insulated. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable having electric running in there, but I don't want to cause them harm either by being too cold. Torn on the "right" answer here.

    I have 10 pullets and a cockerel. They're 7mos and then 5mos 3wks. Most of the pullets huddle around my cockerel at night, a few stray over to the other side of the top nesting shelf though and huddle together.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm familiar with the "high maintenance" aspect of Cochins. I have one who needs frequent "tune-ups."

    You're more apt than you probably meant to be by referring to the fine, downy Cochin feathers as "fur". Cochins have "soft" feathers as opposed to the "hard feathers" that most other chickens have. My Black Cochin actually has problems with her egg sticking to her fine butt feathers when she lays. I've seen her "wear" her egg as she emerges from the coop.

    Her poop doesn't always clear her butt feathers, and this results in crusty buildup after a while. It's a simple matter to put two inches of warm water in a wash tub, back her up to it and splash water on the encrusted feathers until the poop loosens. Keep splashing water over the feathers, pulling away any solid matter. When all the crust is washed away, gently pat dry with a dry wash cloth.

    The feathered feet get the same treatment since they are often encrusted with poop, too. Back the chicken up to the tub and dip one foot at a time into the water, massaging the crust until it loosens and washes away. Pat dry with a dry cloth.

    Your chickens will not freeze to death without heat. There are flocks in Alaska who are surviving in coops with no heat in temps far below zero. The real danger is frost bite, and proper ventilation will prevent that. Watch for condensation on walls and surfaces when the temps start diving. If you see that, you'll need to improve air circulation.
     
  3. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Idk what it's called, all my chickens have what I usually just call "fluffy butts".

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    if you look at the one bent down, whatever you call that light section down low below her tail feathers and below her vent. It looks like really fine fur, but I've never tried to feel it to find out if there are feathers there. When I had to massage near Quail's vent the other day I didn't notice.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I think you just call them rump or butt feathers, but Cochins have much finer ones. They're more like goose down than chicken feathers. Look at one of the Cochin butt feathers (a discarded sample) under a magnifying glass and then compare to a regular butt feather.
     

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