Do chicken like to bathe?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by puddinbabe, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. puddinbabe

    puddinbabe In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2007
    I've seen a couple posts on here about people bathing their chickens. I can't imagine how I could get my chickens in the tub without them getting flappy. But, I was wondering if chickens like water to play in? Should I put a shallow pool in with them for the summer? I know they'll poop in it, but it might give them something new and interesting to do. Ideas?
  2. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Maybe Iv'e missed something but, what your probably reading about is dust baths.
    Chickens love dust baths and will do it in whatever material is available, includeing dust. [​IMG]
    Sand , wood shavings, not sure if they do it in straw or hey, I havent used that and it doesnt seem like it would work very well, but my guess is that they would try.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Chickens love to dust bathe. It's a deterrent to external parasites and keeps them clean, in the same way that dust bathing cleans a chinchillas fur. When it's really hot, some do like to wade in a shallow pan of water, to cool down. I think they get more of a fun factor out of the dust baths. They certainly spend more time in them! [​IMG]

    Submerging a chicken for a water bath is usually only done for a few reasons. Show chickens get bathed so they will look good. If a bird has mites or lice, one of the treatment options is a flea shampoo. If a hen is egg bound, people will sometimes soak her in warm water for therapeutic reasons.
  4. Chellester

    Chellester Songster

    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    When it gets hot, I make a little puddle with the water hose for my chickens. They will do the dust bath thing in there to cool down (it's more like a mud bath, obviously). They're covered with mud for a while, but it will dry and fall off, and they look as clean as ever (even my white Silkies!).
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep, the good old dust bath is the way chickens keep clean. Free range flocks will pick and choose where they want to make the dusting holes. If your birds are locked up without any freedom you really need to provide them with a dusting area. How would you feel without the ability to take a shower? One more reason why free range hens are happy and lay more eggs without being stressed.

    Hens that can dust when needed, is a important part of their normal life, something that penned birds can become fiesty over...... If you ever saw happy free birds and the sounds they make while dusting, you would know your hens are missing something they would love to do.

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I've read here and other places about actual chicken baths. I have no info
    on it other than people do it.

    My silkies get an occassional bath, well shower, because they like to
    sit under the standards on the roost. A few times the silkies were completely
    covered in poo so I had to get the hose and give them a good shower. They
    don't like it at first but get submissive and deal with it after a minute or two.

    I've left a little pool of water out for the chickens but they don't seem to
    bathe in it. They will drink it, jump over it, and try and knock it over. They
    really hate being sprayed with the hose and hide from any rain harder
    than a sprinkle.
  7. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    I've seen posts here that people did bathe their chickens. I think it was when a hen is egg that right guys?![​IMG]
  8. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Songster

    Jul 21, 2007
    I had to bathe a chicken once. She seemed to have alot of "stuff" stuck to her behind for some reason (the only one). So I looked up how show people bathe their chickens and gave it a try.

    We thought, "Oh boy, this is gonna be a nightmare!". We set up two tubs - one to wash with a gentle detergent and one to rinse. We washed her in warm water and as soon as I placed her in the water, she relaxed! I soaped her up, then put her in the clean water tub to rinse. Then I wrapped her in a towel and put her in a warm sunny place to dry. I think she loved it! She was so good for the bath and afterwards looked so nice and white! [​IMG]
  9. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    My chickens like actual baths. My Mille Fleur didn't care for it, but everyone else loved the attention and the blow dry. I went on the side of caution when my two passed and went clean crazy...[​IMG]
  10. Chickemee

    Chickemee Songster

    Jul 30, 2007
    When I gave my chickens bathes because they had poo stuck to there butt, they seemed to really enjoy it. I guess it refreashing since theyre outside all day.

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