How do you clean a (live!) chicken?!


6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
Washington State
Ok, I know that title sounds bizarre , but here's the scoop: about two weeks ago one of my silkies was attacked by a dog that happened into our yard just when we had the gate open for five minutes. She sustained a deep puncture wound in her back, and about a 4 inch long tear in her flesh and into the muscle (I know, that is big for a silkie!) After getting over the sight of the poor girl, we got her cleaned and bandaged up. She is doing really well now, and the wound is now a dense scab a bit bigger than a quarter. I have started letting her out during the day, but am still keeping her in a clean, warm space, separate from the rest of the flock, at night (except for her sister, who is always by her side.) So the issue is this: perhaps due to the fact that she has had antibiotic ointment on her back (under gauze) for a while now, her feathers are just filthy, and she doesn't seem to be able to clean herself up very well (the way that birds miraculously do after giving themselves dust baths.) Does anyone have any suggestions? She no longer has the bandage or ointment on, though I am giving the scab a little betadine soak at night when she comes in at night. Somehow giving her a bath seems a bit absurd, but who knows, maybe she would appreciate a fresh start. Thank you!
Give her a bath with warm water and mild soap. Chickens love baths. Dry her with a towel and then keep her in a warm place. Some people use hair dryers after to dry the feathers.
I have never bathed a chicken but I have been looking into it. I have a silver lakenvelder who tends to roll in the mud and looks more cream than white at the moment. There is an wiki how article on bathing that looks pretty good. Here is the link. I will be interested to see what other people suggest.

I used my dog anti flea shampoo - I diluted it down a lot so it was not too strong.

Just had 2 buckets. One with warm water and the shampoo, the other just the water.

I washed her in bucket one, then rinsed her in bucket 2.

Dried with towel and left in a warm place to dry.

I washed her because she got covered in grease from under our car.

Many of my white birds get dirty - but now I just leave them - after a few dust baths and rain storms then look better. Also they get yellow in the sun, but when the start molting the new feathers are lovely and white again.
Bucket of luke warm water and some Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo. If it was good enough for me when I was a runt then why not the chickens? I use the same on my beagle.

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