How to bathe hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PulletSurpriseWinner, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. PulletSurpriseWinner

    PulletSurpriseWinner In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2011
    Can this even be done? Our two new pullets lived outside in a clay-ey, muddy yard. They plainly don't like it on their feathers and try to preen it off. They also SMELL muddy. Can they have a bath? How is it done? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Sure you can bath them. I bath my animals with Dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I bathe mine with Johnson's baby shampoo. I run a sink of water, hold them in it to get them wet, drizzle them with shampoo and lather them up. I use the spray nozzle to rinse them off and immediately wrap them in a towel. It's liking bathing a baby... or an unhappy kitten, depending on the response of your chicken.

  4. I use baby or pet shampoo and a big deep bucket or rubbermaid. I put enough water in the bucket that when the hen goes in it is even with her back, or a little over. Some of them may freeze stiff in shock until the bath is over; some totally love it - they relax, droop their wings, and even drink the bathwater. Once in awhile you'll put a chicken in and she'll be constantly trying to get out, but that's not been my experience very often. As long as the water is very warm (not hot) they seem to take it okay. Wrap them in an absorbent towel when you pull them out of the bucket/rubbermaid/sink. Make sure you dry them well afterwards. I use a blow-dryer unless I'm releasing them into a very warm and sunny afternoon yard. If you have a number of birds to do, you can use a heat lamp (brooder lamp) to help them dry. Put them under it and they will bask and groom while the lamp dries them.

    Oh, and after you've got them in the warm water at first, hold them there lightly for like 30 seconds, as it takes them a little time to adjust to what is happening to them.

    Good luck!
  5. JadeMurphy

    JadeMurphy In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2011
    I am so glad that I saw this.

    One of my hens walked back to the coop the other night caked in mud. She didn't seem unhappy so I left her in the hope that it would flake off. It hasn't!

    I think she may have some oil or tar in there & have been meaning to ask some other chicken peeps about bathing. No need to now!

    Thanks Guys, happy bathing! [​IMG]

  6. ammc07

    ammc07 Hatching

    Oct 1, 2012
    I gave my bantam brahma a bath this morning, in the sink...I've been having issues with lice! She did not seem to enjoy herself much! She seemed to talk to me, like one little bawk when I spoke to her. I dried her and cuddled her, then applied olive oil to the back of her head (to suffocate the eggs) she seemed to either growl at me, or purr?? None of mine are overly friendly, it's actually a task to catch them! But she will eat treats from my hand. Could this have been a content purr sound ?? And has anybody else had any luck with olive oil for lice eggs??

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by