My 2 new hens smell like dirty barn -- concerned?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickensRDinos, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Hello. Three weeks ago I acquired two 3-month old hens, 1 swedish flower and 1 frizzled turken. They smell bad. They had to make a 2 hour trip in a dog crate with a few other hens (going to different homes) to get to me so I initially thought that was likely the cause of their slight odor but three weeks later it still lingers.

    I have kept them isolated from the rest of the flock in spacious and clean accommodations. The swedish had red mites so I have treated them both and that is no longer a problem. They eat and poop normally and otherwise seem in good health with normal energy and curiosity but, they definitely smell and I have never had a hen smell like that--like dirty, poopy barn, musty. They have a dust bath and I have seen the swedish bathe -- they don't look dirty or off and have no visible injuries or oddities.

    This one of the first times I have ever bought hens from somewhere that I did not physically go and see where they lived before hand, so who knows. Do they just need a bath or could it be something more serious? Thoughts? I just want to double check before I mix them in with healthy, non-smelly birds. I have never had this happen before so it has me a bit perplexed.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  2. rachlore

    rachlore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Huh... I've never heard of this before either. I would give them a bath and double check for any signs of a.. well, what ever could be causing this, and possibly take them to a nearby vet to check them out if you can. If not then i would put them back with the other chickens and give 'em a pretty thorough bath.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The only time I had a chicken smell bad it was suffering from coccidiosis and died quickly. It smelled like, well, poo. On its whole body- it wasn't that it had poo stuck to its rear end. It was a whole body odor that I had never smelled before on a chicken.

    I would assume they are contagious with something if after you bathe them they still smell bad. A healthy chicken smells good. You can wait to see if whatever it is shows up in the way of symptoms.

    Coryza smells bad but I hope you don't end up with respiratory symptoms- hope it isn't that...I think you would be seeing some symptoms for that if I am not mistaken.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Thank you. That is what I am worried about. I will give them a good bath and then see from there. I hope it's that simple.

    Thank you again.
     
  5. Carol R

    Carol R New Egg

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    My husband just bought me 4 young hens, red sexlink. They smell like old oily barn chicken poop. It has been my experience that they smell like this when they were raised in close confinement,with many other birds. My hens get partially free range, with grass, weeds, fresh air, etc. they still smell after about a week of being here. If you want to wash them, it will prob help with the odor. Originial Dawn dish soap is what they use at many rescue centers. A little baking soda wont hurt. Their feathers really hold on to odors!

    Hope this will help someone in the future!
     

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