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Our hen is filthy! Will it make her sick?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by flockwithnocock, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. flockwithnocock

    flockwithnocock Out Of The Brooder

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    It's winter in Indiana and it's gotten cold fast. This is our first winter with the girls and we read that we should put vaseline on their combs and wattles to prevent frostbite. Well apparently they don't like it much because they've been dusting a lot (we have a pan full of ash available for them to dust). Now our Golden Laced Wyandotte, Blondie, is filthy! She's usually all white with a bit of yellow but her head is now all gray and she's slowly turning gray all over. We noticed that her butt is pretty dirty also. Will her being so dirty make her sick? We've thought about bathing her but we're afraid she'll just be dirty again in a couple weeks. Plus we'd have to keep her inside until she got dry since it's so cold out. Should we just wait until the spring and bathe her then?

    Any help you can provide would be most appreciated! :)
     
  2. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    You could bath her now. They usually get themselves clean, no clue who they do it but they will do it. If you are going to bath her though, make sure the water is warm, don't make her go in freezing cold water. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, you can't really give a white chicken ashes to bathe in and expect her to stay white...lol!

    Switch the dust bath to sand with less ash and they'll look cleaner.

    If her butt is really dirty you should probably take a close look and make sure she doesn't have feces stuck to her feathers....if she does, she could be ill.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say, Scratch the vaseline. Especially with Wyandottes. They have a short comb, that is very resistant to frostbite. I have 3 wyandottes, with the same kind of weather as you, and have never put anything on them, and they do very well. I also have some Barred
    Rocks that have double the comb the wyandottes have, have never smeared them with anything, and have never had any problems with frostbite with them either. Don't bathe them in water, just omit the vaseline, and they will be fine.
     
  5. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    Nothing wrong with dirty chickens and no, ash and dirt will not make them ill..It is beneficial and the ash left on them kill any bugs trying to get at the skin. They will shake off all the excess they don't want or need. Giving them the ash bath is good chicken keeping. Vaseline will never hurt a bird. It will help keep off water and humidity just like a baby's butt. [​IMG]

    Do not get them wet in winter unless you keep them in the house all winter or have a heated building/coop. It takes a good two days for a chicken to completely dry. I show my chickens and it takes forever!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Not only will it not make her sick, the ashes help keep parasites away. Don't bathe her, it's not at all natural for chickens to bathe in water. She's taking good care of herself, I'd just let her do what she's doing.

    I am confused, though--you say she's a gold laced wyandotte, then you say she's white? Those two things contradict each other [​IMG]
     
  7. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feces stuck to the but feathers?does that mean they are ill.I have very pampered and spoiled girls and worm them every six months.and some do have feces stuck in their but feathers.now you have me worried.
     
  8. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    no..... it does not mean they are ill...
    if your birds have clean bedding. good housing...fresh air..fresh water..room for exercise..good food..they are fine...most birds will get dirt on a skirt from time to time..
    [​IMG]

    see the white on her bum? All normal..cecal poo on a chicken is NORMAL. Chickens have a looser elimination every 5-7 times to clean the track of the bowel/intestines/ceca. ...it is all normal. It can range in color depending on time of year and what type of grass or feed you have. Summer time it is bound to happen more with chickens trying to keep cool...
     
  9. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you.that eases my mind.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I said it could mean they are ill.
    If it's a constant problem, or prolific, it would be good to check it out more closely.
     

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