dirty chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by naakte, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. naakte

    naakte Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Branson, missouri
    The rain has brought mud and my chickens have mud on their feathers, and on their feet. The mom in me wants to wash them, but i do not know how it would effect them putting them outside all wet. it looks the worst on my white leghorns, and delawares, and the tops of my black crested polish. If the mud can make them sick, I will figure out how to dry them after a bath, but if it wont, Ill leave them be and deal with the ugly feathers. this is my first winter with chickens.

  2. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have a white one also, they will preen and clean themselves....depending on where you live, if it is cold, getting them wet can give them a chill, not something I would think is a good idea.

    I wouldn't worry about it, unless you show them at shows.
  3. Johnn

    Johnn Crowing

    Sep 5, 2011
    They might just clean them selfs
  4. mame1616

    mame1616 Songster

    Jan 30, 2008
    Middletown, NJ
    Well, those of us who show wash our birds no matter the weather. I have ten looking forward to a bath (yeah, right) for a show next month. I set up some of those big dog carriers ahead of time, and I have a blow dryer for each cage that is propped against the door to blow around the top of the cage. I have a stack of towels, one for each bird, standing by the sink, and a towel in each cage. Make sure the dryer is on cool or warm - not hot! After I wash each bird, I wrap it mummy style and lay them down in a row in a long under-bed box, one right after the other. I keep their heads covered with a flap of the towel to keep them from looking around, but open enough so they can breath. They all pass out after a bath - the shock of the indignity, I think. After about twenty minutes they start waking up, so I unwrap them and stick them in a cage with the blower on while I keep bathing. I can fit three LF in a big cage at a time. By the time I am done bathing the last one, the first ones are usually ready to be finished. I take them out one at a time and blow dry them. Make sure when you do this that you keep the dryer moving at all times! You don't want to burn their skin!. I usually have my hand moving between the dryer and the birds, anyway, using my fingernails to separate the wet feathers that have clumped together. Make sure that they are completely dry before you put them back outside. Depending on how many birds you have, this can be an all-day job. I find I get as wet as they do, so I don't do this often. I use regular shampoo and conditioner on the birds, although I am experimenting with various whitening products for my white birds.

    Welcome to the world of chickens!!

  5. mkcolls

    mkcolls Songster

    Mar 13, 2011
    I let our chickens out rain or shine and the few light colored ones that we have will come in the coop at the end of the day looking muddy, but the next morning will be all cleaned up after a dust bath in their dirt/peat moss. Don't know how they do it, but they have it down pat. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Too bad it doesn't work for kids. [​IMG]
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I have Rhode Island Whites and have had a dirty bird but they always seem to clean themselves.
  7. LisaCammie

    LisaCammie In the Brooder

    I have a white (unknown breed) hen who likes to dust bathe in the red dirt and not the sand/soil, framed dust bath that I made for her and her flockmates - so she keeps a bit of an organge tint. On top of that (literally) she has a huge dirt smear on the side of her head - about month ago she had something red-ish orange on her head and I wasn't sure if it was blood or not. Just to be safe I decided to put vaseline on the spot in case the other hens tried to pull her feathers out or peck at it. Well, as I was rubbing the vaseline on her head I realized it was just dirt. It hasn't been warm enough to wash her head and let dry outside so she'll have a dirt smear on the side of her head until it warms up in a few months.

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