How to bathe a polish hen?


11 Years
Sep 10, 2008
Upper Michigan
I need tips on bathing a polish hen. My hen got axle grease on her from snooping around a bulldozer at our property. The grease is now full of dirt. I want to bathe her but whats the best way to clean the crest without dunking her head or breaking her crest feathers?

How do you breeders clean your polish before a show?


Brook Valley Farm
12 Years
Mar 1, 2007
When I wash Polish crests: I wrap the bird in a towel from the neck down (think "chicken burrito."
It keeps the bird in one nice neat "package" so you can have a hand free. It also seems to calm them). Then I hold the bird so it is basically flat on its back, and use the edge of my washing bucket as a sort of neck rest--just like when you get your hair washed at the salon. Then I can use my free hand to wash the crest while not getting water into the bird's nostrils. You won't break any feathers. I wash with one bucket and keep a bucket of fresh warm water to rinse. To wash the rest of the bird, it's best to use 3 tubs/buckets--one to wash, a second to rinse, and a third for a final rinse. You can use a bit of vinegar in the rinse water to help cut the soap. I usually use horse shampoo for the bath.

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
Tempe, Arizona
I use running water in the bath tub--rather like a shower. Warm, not too hot or cool.

Normally I do NOT use dish soap (although I know others who do), but rather shampoo. However, in your case since you are dealing with dirty axle grease, I would say to use dawn dish soap. That is what wildlife rescuers use to clean animals caught in an oil slick.

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