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How do you remove paint off a chickens feathers?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HBalfour, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. HBalfour

    HBalfour New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Last night someone broke into my backyard shed/coup and threw blue paint all over my babies after they stole my garden tools and lawn mower. Does anyone know how do I clean the paint off my hens? One looks like they won't survive this incident and I'm steaming mad that someone would be this cruel. These are Delawares and they are so sweet and they barely make any noise. I am really lost for words right about now....
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Right after you file the police report, get the can of paint to see what kind it is, latex or oil based. My DH is a professional painter and can help once he knows what it's base is.
     
  3. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Oh no! I am so sorry. Thanks to ranchhand for offering help [​IMG]
     
  4. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    You might try Dawn, they use it in wildlife rescue alot, that what i usually wash birds chickens or otherwise in- how heavily did they get? i use it in cleaning paintbrushes too.. poor little chicks!
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Yep, Dawn de-greasing dish soap is the way to go. Anything that will truly remove an oil based paint is going to be toxic to the birds. So repeated, gemtle washings with Dawn. And Dawn will get the latex based paint off fast.

    DH had another idea, that intrigued me since he is an animal lover but doesn't have much to do with the poultry. He suggested bathing and removing as much paint as possible, then forcing them to molt. I've never done it, but a search here should have some info.
     
  6. HBalfour

    HBalfour New Egg

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    Thanks to all that responded. They were doused with Latex paint. But I am going to try the dawn. Poor things. They aren't going to like being bathed but I'm going to take care of them. Someone else suggested Dawn. I am going to give that a try.

    They aren't nearly as bad now. They have been rolling around in dust and water so they are looking a little better. But one is just all messed up. He can barely see out of his eyes and he's responding very slow. [​IMG]
     
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Make sure you clear his head and face area first. Poor things, that's a cruel thing to do to them.

    Welcome to BYC, I wish it weren't under such awful circumstances.

    Almost forgot! Put a dab of Vaseline in their eyes first, to keep the soap out!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  8. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    I think it might depend on what kind of paint, and how much- but I might just leave it there if it is not so bad that it keeps them from moving normally. Or cut it off. Most solvents you don't want to put on your chickens & even water soluble paint doesn't come off easily once it is dry. I think I might trim of the worst of it & leave the rest alone.
     
  9. HBalfour

    HBalfour New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Thanks for the welcome RanchHand! Duke is looking and feeling a little better. The rest are foraging and doing fine. They just are a little ruffled up. I'm going to round them up and begin washing them.

    What upsets me most is that someone would do this to them. They haven't even reached three months old yet so they are still little babies!
     
  10. birdsNbeesNseeds

    birdsNbeesNseeds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it was a water-based paint, by the time it is dry, most of the hazard has subsided. Hopefully they will molt soon, or you 'could' try to give them a gentle trim, cutting the feathers that have paint on them. (I hope only the outer feathers were affected.)

    The outer feathers are not touching the skin, so it is not really a 'skin' entry hazard. It is more of a "preening" issue of them ingesting the remnants of the paint when it starts to flake. Birds are more suseptable to many types of poisoning than mammals on average, but unless the paint was special purpose/industrial- and had lead, cadmium, or was the type that had thinners such as tolune or xylene that the birds absorbed through the skin or inhaled, then (hopefully) the damage would be minimal. Ingestion, again, would likely be the primary concern after that.

    Hope this made sense. Sorry for the horrible spelling.
     

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