keeping feathered feet clean

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AprilW, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. AprilW

    AprilW Songster

    Feb 7, 2011
    north Georgia
    I have a pair of bantam cochins and I'm finding their feet are difficult to keep clean. When I got the birds, they had crud in their foot feathers. I have tried cleaning most of it off but daily they get dirty again. What is the best way to keep their feet clean? I realize they won't constantly stay clean becaus they live on the ground, but I would think having mud and poop get in the feathers wouldn't be very good for them (yes, I do keep the coop clean).
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I've puzzled over this one, myself, having a whole fleet of feathered feet, Brahmas and Cochins. My Cochin roo is really a challenge.

    I have sand in the pen, and pine shavings in the coops, and that helps a lot to keep their feet clean. But every week or two, I set up a tub of warm water with children's bubble bath and give them all a quick foot scrub and towel-dry their feet. I've found if I back them up to the wash basin, then dip one foot in, wash it, then do the other foot, this position is most comfortable for them and they don't seem to mind it at all.

    I have read that feathered feet can suffer rot if left caked with mud and crud. Besides, they smell a lot better when they're kept clean.

    I also treat crusty butts with the same ritual. I take advantage of any nice day, set up the wash basins on the picnic table, hold a chicken firmly while backing them up to the tub. I splash warm sudsy water onto the rear quarters to loosen the crusty build-up, then gently pull it off the feathers. Towel dry, then they air-dry the rest of the way. On cooler days, I blow-dry them. They all love that! No need to rinse the bubble bath soak, either. It does the job wonderfully!

    With this spot-treatment, there's no need to give them a full bath, and therefore, it's quick and easy to keep the fleet clean and fluffy.
  3. AprilW

    AprilW Songster

    Feb 7, 2011
    north Georgia
    Thank you, I'll try doing that then. Foot rot is what I was afraid of.
  4. reereechickens

    reereechickens Songster

    Feb 12, 2011
    Reidsville, NC
    Quote:Thanks for the info! I just got 4 Silkies and hopefully some buff bantam cochins for Easter!
  5. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Songster

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I have 3 week olds that were starting to get a little crusty and someone here told me to use warm water, soap and an old tooth brush. I did it today and my gosh they are so clean and fluffy!

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