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Polish with a dirty crest?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChuChooks, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. ChuChooks

    ChuChooks Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    This is my Polish hen, Marshmallow. Her crest feathers have been getting noticeably dirtier lately and then the past couple days it's been raining. She's looking a bit haggard.

    We don't show her. She just hangs around with her friends in our yard and we collect her eggs. She's six months old and this will be her first winter. I'll be leaving the country for several weeks later this month and my husband isn't the most attentive chicken caretaker, so I want to get her all set up before I go.

    I'm wondering a few things:

    1) If I do nothing, is there an increased chance of mites, infection, or something else with her feathers being so unkempt?

    2) If I give her a moderately aggressive haircut, will that help or harm?

    3) Do I need to actually wash her head, or will she and her friends take care of that?

    4) Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I trim my polish crests, it helps them see better, so go ahead if she can't see well. Though every time I trim them into a nice rounded poof some feathers grow out again so they always look messy. I don't wash mine, but during the adult molts sometimes they need help removing the sheaths from their head feathers so be aware of that. You should occasionally check their crests for mites or signs they are being pecked, otherwise looking messy occasionally is what they do.
  3. ChuChooks

    ChuChooks Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    Thanks! We trimmed her front feathers earlier this summer when she couldn't see well. She seems fine visibility wise for now, but I want sure about the dirty crest feathers since she can't get to them and I'm not sure they get the attention her other feathers get in a dust bath. I'll just check her before I go and see how things progress.

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