Messy Vent??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MonsterClucker, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. MonsterClucker

    MonsterClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey BYC. I'm like less than a week into my wonderful chicken adventure. Everything I've learned about chickens other they lay eggs and they taste good on the BBQ comes from you guys, so I want to thank you first. I appreciate it a lot

    Ok first question of many to come....

    I was gifted two 4 year old GSL a few days ago. Today I notices that one has poop on her feathers by her vent? I think its called. Or her butt lol. I read a few people threads who had messy vents, but they had discharges and plucked out feathers and stuff like that.
    My hen isn't plucking feathers or discharging, just poop on her feathers.

    When I brought them home I put em in a box and they pooped a few times each in there. So I was thinking there's a good possibility it came from that.

    Should I bathe the hen? Or do they clean themselves?

    I'm a little OCD about cleanliness lol its bothering me. Seems like more than its bothering her.
     
  2. modchicken

    modchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can she go to the bathroom ok? If not, get a warm qtip and wipe off the vent area. If she can I think it's fine as long as it's not bothering her? It should come off! I'm not an expert so maybe wait for some more responses!!! [​IMG]
     
  3. MonsterClucker

    MonsterClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea she definitely pooping.... She played an egg this morning. It was clean. Not a speck on it surprisingly.

    I didn't know if they clean themselves or not. But that's why they dust bathe themselves right?
     
  4. modchicken

    modchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya I think!!
     
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once it's dried on there, she won't get it off. You'll have to do it for her. Once some catches, more will build up.

    The problem with it, is that flies can lay their eggs in it. Those turn to maggots, and can actually enter the chicken through any sore, or right into the vent. It's called fly strike. Removing the poo build up prevents the flies from wanting to lay their eggs there. Fly strike can also happen just through open sores, but also through poo build up on the vent feathers. It gets worrisome the closer the build up gets to the skin.

    I have 2 hens I need to watch for that. They have extra fluffy feathers when compared to the other hens. I tried trimming the feathers to see if that helped, but it made it worse. So now I'm totally committed to this butt washing thing until they complete molt and have new feathers.

    It's a two person job. I get a bath towel, and set it over the edge of the sink. I have my husband hold the hen with her wings folded down, and she stands on the towel (they appreciate the traction the towel provides, standing on a slick surface freaks them out more than the washing).

    I spray her thoroughly, use a liberal amount of dish washing soap (antibacterial dawn for example) and work the mess out. Rinse, repeat if needed. Towel dry, and allow to air dry.

    Then I clorox the heck out of the entire area after the chicken is back outside again. Repeat in another 4-6 weeks or until the build up is enough to be worried about.

    These 2 hens are now incredibly tame, and handle bath time better than any of my dogs. LOL My husband doesn't even have to hold Wheaties anymore, she just stands there and let's me do it, as if she knows and understands the relief of not having her feathers gunked up.
     
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  6. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I first got on here and read about bathing chickens, and barnyard chickens not show chickens at that, I thought, "These folks are just plumb crazy.". Then my cochin Coochie got a messy bottom and then a couple more fo the really fluffy bottomed girls got messy. So I brought them in, one at a time, and like someone else said, put a towel in the bottom of the kitchen sink, put on my rubber gloves and drew some warm water into the sink and started bathing. To my shock and delight, they LOVED the warm water and attention. I've never had to have someone hold them down, they get in that warm water and hunker down and practically fall asleep. I let the water loosen up the poo, then I wash them with soap and by the time I'm done with that any leftover stuck on poo is pretty loose and I can remove it with my fingers without pulling too hard (remember the rubber gloves!). After rinsing them thoroughly, I wrap each chicken in a fluffy towel and we go have some cuddle time while the towel soaks up the excess water. Once they've been wrapped up a bit, then I finish them off with the hairdryer. I thought the hairdryer would FREAK them out but they actually like the warm air blowing on them, again they relax so much until they practically fall asleep again. I skip the drying step in the summer but fall/winter, they LOVE it.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. MonsterClucker

    MonsterClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anderson, California
    Thanka guys i think its clear now... We do bathe our chickens! Wow this is gonna be fun lol!

    So like when would you catch them? If i grab her at night out of her coop, what will happen when i put her back ink? will she be ok? just curious...
     
  8. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just go out and corner 'em somewhere (if it's not too hot) and you can pick 'em up and carry them inside. Or you can wait til they settle for the night and do it then. She'll be fine as long as your nights are warm or you can 'blow dry the chicken' before you put her back. I like to get mine kind of late morning, before it gets too hot, then after the bath we can cuddle for a while. Frequently we both fall asleep and when we wake up whichever chicken it was that got to go to Pat's Beauty Salon for the afternoon, goes back outside just like nothing ever happened. I also feed treats while we're inside, makes them LOVE their 'spa' days.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    A far easier method than bathing the entire chicken is to just do a "butt tune-up". This is better in winter as it won't take so long for the feathers to dry.

    I fill a small one-gallon tub with warm water and children's bubble bath soak. I spread a towel in front of it and back the chicken (roosters need tune-ups, too) to the tub with their feet on the towel outside the tub. I then splash warm sudsy water onto the encrusted butt until the mass loosens. Then I take a fingernail brush and gently brush out the poo from the feathers. Splash more water onto the area until it's clean. No need to rinse. Pat dry with a dry wash cloth.

    Backing them up to the tub creates a secure footing for them and it's easy to do without a second person. It's also the ideal position for washing poo out of feathered feet.
     
  10. ComfortChickens

    ComfortChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    This is great info! Thank you! I have a girl that has a messy bum and it seems to be getting worse (building up) so I'm going to attempt to clean her this way. Thanks for sharing!
     

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