1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Showing white chickens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by KristenR, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. KristenR

    KristenR Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    8
    121
    Apr 19, 2009
    Centralia, WA
    Hello,

    I acquired some white d'Anvers last year and have recently decided to try to show the two pullets I hatched from my original pair. I am used to showing other varieties of d'Anvers, but most other varieties need very little pre-show maintenence. The whites, however, are not only the most easily soiled birds, but they are the ones that want to get themselves soiled the most. I let most of my birds have free range and I have my two white pullets penned INDIVIDUALLY, mind you, each in a 3'x3' cage with plenty of bedding that I just cleaned, out of direct sun and on a strict diet. They still managed to smear smelly brown manure that stains all over their feathers (on the breast,mostly - one hen somehow managed to get some on her wings tho). Both of them. Now, my question to all of you fanciers with white varieties - How do you do it!?!

    I mean, I washed them in a very dilute ammonia bath and then a bluing bath and the poop stains are still visible. Otherwise they look great. I have 3 more days before the show and they are on fresh bedding. Is there anything else I can do to get the yellowish cast off the stained sections of their feathers or do I just sit back and hope for better luck next time?

    Thanks in advance for any replies. Kudos to all you who successfully show the white chicken.

    Kristen

    Edited to add: Oh yes! Also wanted to ask if anyone else has ever dealt with black flecking in recessive white chickens? The mother to these pullets has some huge black flecks in her primaries. The pullets are clean so far - but mom didn't appear to get these until her second year molt. Is this a common problem? How can I remedy it? I have Splash d'Anvers - would crossing those with the whites help? This white pair has extremely poor hatchability - I only got 12 eggs from them last year and only 2 hatched (hence my two pullets). My other varieties I set with them had nearly 85% hatchability. I am hoping that crossing the Splash with the white will increase hatchability and give me solid chicks split for white. What are others thoughts on this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  2. Majestic Lane Poultry

    Majestic Lane Poultry Heart Strings Animal Rehoming

    Feb 9, 2009
    Kristen,

    I don't show white birds for that very reason. With that said, I will also admit that it is hard to beat a white bird as they are just beautiful. Many people who show use Tide with bleach alternative to wash their white birds in a few days before the show and then just before coop in, they will spray them with "chalk" to keep stains off while in the show.

    Hope this helps....

    Tammy
     
  3. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    8,429
    133
    331
    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Also try using some cowboy magic on the stains or peroxide.
     
  4. KristenR

    KristenR Chillin' With My Peeps

    134
    8
    121
    Apr 19, 2009
    Centralia, WA
    I don't think I've ever heard of cowboy magic? Also - tammy, where would I be able to find chalk?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  5. kurka

    kurka Out Of The Brooder

    85
    0
    39
    Jul 2, 2010
    i have whites but i'm not showing them. Some of them stays clean, some not, roosters makes hen dirty pushing them onto ground.. I think in Your case wired floor could be helpfull - even if is is only for week or some before the show, after the bath. I have some silkie ans silkie cross chicks in wired floor cage now, with hugely feathered feet, and feet [and birds] stays quite clean.
     
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    8,429
    133
    331
    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Quote:Cowboy magic is horse stain remover. Using chalk would be considered faking.
     
  7. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,434
    107
    221
    May 29, 2009
    Sleepy Eye, MN
    I have the white silkies so can feel your pain. To top it off I have crests and foot feathers to keep clean too. All my young stock are kept on deep sawdust. I use the stuff that is almost powdery fine and it clumps up almost like cat litter. It doesn't have much of a chance to get stuck in the foot feathers then. Give them enough room to move so they aren't laying and stepping in their own crap nonstop. Pens are totally stripped and rebedded every couple weeks. Mine are all in the barn with no direct sunlight to prevent any yellowing of the feathers. You might want to re-evaluate the diet on your birds. I feed strictly a pelleted show ration by Kent. I supplement with dried cat food. The only time my birds get loose stools is when one of my family members wants to be nice and give them treats that their bodies aren't used to. Then I add in a bit of oatmeal to firm them back up again. As far as bathing them, nothing will totally take out a set in stain. Its the fun part of whites. If you can catch it right away and wash it off, it won't always set. Go through all your birds 6+ weeks before a show and pluck those stained feathers. You can hope they regrow in time or wait til they go through their next molt. If you want to try cleaning them up a bit, the Tide with bleach alternative works about the best. Dawn makes a dishwashing liquid with a bleach alternative that also works nicely You have all the whitening shampoos....Quic Silver, Cowboy Magic, White N Brite, etc.... you are most likely to end up with a blue or purple tinted bird if you aren't super careful using those.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Keeping them clean to begin with is the hard part. When it comes to bathing before a show then they are no harder than any other color bird.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,434
    107
    221
    May 29, 2009
    Sleepy Eye, MN
    I actually find that the black flecking on the white breeder birds makes for better quality whites in the long run. I have it in my silver gened white silkies especially. You don't even notice it til you are bathing and find a dark fleck. We used to raise standard and bantam cochins too. The ones out of those parent birds with the flecking had the more brilliant gleaming white. It seems like you the more you steer towards the others and you get that creamy white that yellows way more easy.
     
  9. Majestic Lane Poultry

    Majestic Lane Poultry Heart Strings Animal Rehoming

    Feb 9, 2009
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    283
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I can't imagine using ammonia to wash birds? I would think the odor very offensive, and birds are often very sensitive to odors. One reason I rarely keep white birds is the difficulty of keeping them *white*. Things I have heard, but not tried, are hydrogen peroxide, bleach or various horse or dog stain removers. Blue or purple dog or horse shampoos and/or laundry bluing are often mentioned, but my experience is that any of that results in a purple bird.

    Vinegar does a pretty good job of removing stains, but it needs time to work, and probably a number of applcations if the stains are large or intense.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by