Is it safe to bathe chickens when it's cold outside?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 5cutechicks, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. 5cutechicks

    5cutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    Lowell Michigan
    I have 2 new silkies I just brought home and they aren't real pretty like my others and they smell aweful! They would be beautiful if they were clean! I had been giving my other 3 silkies baths regularly until 4 weeks ago when it turned cold here in Michigan! They love it too, I wash them with dawn dish soap and dry them totally dry with a hair dryer. I didn't know if going from cold to inside to warm up and after they warm up a nice bath and then back outside would hurt them in any way? I can live with stinky chicks until spring if I have to, I don't want to do anything that could hurt them! Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Do you have a sand bath available so they can bathe theirselves. We're cold in GA, so know y'all must be cold as well. Personally, I would not bathe them now.

    Also, since they already have the stress of a new home, more stress may be too much for them.
     
  3. 5cutechicks

    5cutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    Lowell Michigan
    I am going to buy a few bags of sand tomorrow and make them a sand bath area. I'm just so excited about them I forgot about stressing them out with there move to a new home, thanks for the reminder. Do you happen to know if it would be okay to make there sandy spot where they like to sit under there coop? They never free range unless we're home and outside with them because we live in the woods and recently have a few hawks! They have a coop and a nice run the run is dirt/pine shavings ( a few blades of grass) and they sit under the coop where it's covered and its mostly dirt. Thought I'd put the sand there, just wondered if there were any reasons to not, like mites or other reasons I may not be aware of.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Sand baths are supposed to cut down on mites. Bet you see some group baths when you put the sand there.

    Interesting that your like to sit under the coop. Mine have been having what looks like a social hour hanging our under theirs. My DH thinks they are having private meetings..lol
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    The smell, that would give me pause. If it's coming from poop in their fluff, that's one thing, but if it's coming from around the head, you may have something else going on. Any discharge from the nares or eyes? For instance, infectious Coryza comes to mind, making a terrible odor around the head and beak. I hope you quarantined them away from your other birds.

    If not, I hope it was just that they were neglected horribly and couldn't get out of their filth. Chickens are clean animals if properly managed and really don't need baths. I have only had to bathe a couple of chickens in my entire chicken keeping "career", and that was due to an internal illness making runny poop stick to them. Also, with a dying bird, there is a terrible odor that seems to emanate from the skin itself sometimes, though it may come from the horrible "endtimes" poop they produce.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  6. 5cutechicks

    5cutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    Lowell Michigan
    I am pretty sure these chickens were well cared for the lady I got them from loves chickens, she breeds all different kinds and is so knowledgeable and loves all of her birds, most of them free range and when we were there they are all so friendly and talk to her and follow her. All of the coops and runs I did see were clean and didnt smell too. She just has alot of chickens and I don't think she bathes them, she has so many! The 2 that smell bad are molting and look like little porkeypines. They smell like chicken poo but there feet and feathers don't have anything stuck on them, they appear to be fine, a bit nervous about there new home but eating good, poo looks normal, no discharge anywhere either. My daughter and I hold our other 2 silkies and 1 polish all of the time and we starting giving them baths when they were 5 weeks old about 1x a month. They love it! They have such a beautiful shine to there feathers when there clean! So maybe it's just that our chickens are over clean and the fact theses new chickens are molting probably doesn't help with the way they look! The polish is black and white and would be so much prettier if the white in her feathers was a bit whiter. I'm going to try the sand first to see if it helps for now. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  7. 5cutechicks

    5cutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    Lowell Michigan
    I thought it was strange they sit under there coop??? Glad someone else's do to, we have a Rhode Island that doesn't get along with my silkies/polish so she has her own coop/run right next to the other chickens (we actually just added an apartment to her coop and separate run) she never sat under her coop until we got these chickens, she sits right next to them against the chicken wire? She use to sit at the opposite end. Thanks for the tip on the sand, its so confusing! There's a contradiction to everything you read! Use straw don't use straw, use shavings don't use sand don't use sand! It's awful confusing, I want to do what's best for them it's just hard to decide! Appreciate your reply!
    Cheryl
     
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Maybe they just smell like the place they came from. Kinda like buying something from an antique or flea market. When you get it home, it has the smell of the shop and with time will start to smell like your home.
     
  9. 5cutechicks

    5cutechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    Lowell Michigan
    Oh how funny! So true! I never thought of that. I just took them all down so warm eggs and oatmeal and they still sink, I've never seen chickens fight over food before, must be they've never had it before. It sure got ugly! guess it may take some time before the smell wears off. Going to TSC to get some sand right now! Sure hope it helps, PEEW!!
     
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Here's my story,

    When I bought my first Delaware there were four hens and a rooster. I drove home 5 hrs, during the summer, with the windows open they smelled so bad. They're area was void of grass and shavings. I'm not sure why it was so stinky. After I got them home, I put them in a large round pool with clean wood shavings. After a day or so perhaps less they smelled just fine. The rolled about in the shavings and cleaned themselves up.

    So what to do. I would dust them real good with DE, kind of like a dry bath. Then put them in clean fresh large chipped shavings. Let them roll in them and clean themselves up. Animals don't like to be dirty.

    I wish you well,

    Rancher

    ps. Of course if what Speckledhen said is true, follow her advice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

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