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? for those who show birds...silkies in particular

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kristina, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Kristina

    Kristina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    My poor showgirls are FILTHY!!! It's been raining for days and today is the worst and they are all dirty. I want to bring them in and wash them. What I need to know is the best way to do that. It's chilly outside so I don't want to shock them. I know I have to bring them in and let them acclimate then wash them with I would guess lukewarm water? Do you use regular shampoos or like a dog shampoo? There aren't going to be any options around here for anything special and I want to bathe them no later than tommorrow. Thanks for any help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2008
  2. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    baby shampoo or homemade soap is what i use it is very mild and doesn't hurt if they get it in the eyes. it also doesn't pull the oils out of the feathers like most do and blowdry them. but i don't do it in cold months. if it is chilly like fall i leave them in the house for about a day before i put them back out. i keep the water warm like what i would for my kid's so not to cold not to hot.
    hope that helps,
    silkie
     
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Anykind of mild shampoo or dish detergent will work, just don't use anything that is extra strength.

    Give them a little while to get used to the inside temps, then wash. Careful they don't go to sleep in the water. I have to hold my big black cochin girl's head up, because she enjoys the warm water alot. I use fairly warm water, but not hot. It does need to be warm enough to cut through the natural oils on the birds feathers.

    The first rinse should have some white vineger in it, this breaks down the soap bubbles. Left over soap can make a bird look dirty all over again. The second rinse should just be water.

    Wrap the bird in an assorbant towel and wait a few minutes to can get some water off. Then the hard part. Start blow drying the bird. A silkie will probably take a good hour+ to dry. Keep that dryer moving, don't want to burn them. Hope you have a good arm. Make sure you are getting the base of the feathers too. On a silkie you blow opposite the feathers, adds additional fluffiness for show.

    Keep inside that night, because they will be susceptible to cold after the warm bath.

    Matt
    Morganton, NC
     
  4. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    Hi Kristina,
    both of the post already up are great, that is just he way I do it. The big thing in to get them as dry as possible and keep them in overnight. Good Luck!

    Lisa
     
  5. Kristina

    Kristina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    Ok So I have my six walking balls of mud (3 showgirls and three silkies) inside now. [​IMG] So this sounds like the right procedure.....

    First tub of water, same temp as my kids water, wash with baby shampoo
    Second tub of water, same temp with water and white vinegar to rinse out soap
    Third tub, same temp plain water

    Towel dry, then blow dry, then leave inside for at least a day or two.

    Sound about right? Ok so one more question...how do I go about cleaning their crests? Do I have to dip the crests in water to?
    The only reason I'm bathing them inthis cold is becasue ofthe fact they are sooooo yucky right now...I plan on having them inside till it warms up again...which in louisiana could be tommorrow. [​IMG]

    Seriously they are walking balls of mud! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2008
  6. Kristina

    Kristina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    Hey Lisa! How are you feeling...I swear that bunch must have rolled around in the dirt!
     
  7. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    Feeling great, thanks! Yes you can wash the crests, I usually do with a wash cloth (you can't dunk their head), it is a little time consuming, but it works and doesn't freak them out. I take the wet wash cloth and wet the crest, then I put a little baby shampoo on and do the same thing until the crest is soapy, sometimes I just use my fingers to lather it up. Then I do the same thing for rinsing. My birds are used to getting a bath so I can usually tip their heads back a little and dribble water from the washcloth to help rinse.

    Lisa
     
  8. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    I know what you mean about them in dirt. My birds will find the darkest dirt available and take a nice long dirt bath in it. It always seems like it is the whitest birds that like the dirtiest dirt. Heeheehee.

    Lisa
     

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