Trimming butt feathers


Apr 16, 2017
A few of my hens have quite a poopy butt (salmon Faverolle being one of the worst!!). I’d like to trim their feathers but I’m worried I will hurt them. Is there a rule for trimming feathers?
One of my silkies had bumblefoot last summer and after fixing her up I was trying to bandage her foot...I tried to trim a few leg feathers and made her bleed a bit which was awful. I don’t want to do that again.

Sally PB

Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
Belding, MI
All I can suggest is to use scissors that have rounded tips on the ends of the blades. It would make things easier to have someone help you by holding the chicken still. Maybe wrap the bird in a towel and cover her eyes too; when they can't see they are less likely to move. Go slowly, only trim what you need to, and have good lighting to see by. If the poop mat is close to the skin, try soaking it to soften it. Then break it up with your fingers. (Wearing gloves, of course.)

Good luck!


Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I have no issue doing it myself without wrapping up the chickens, but yes it helps the first few times if you have someone else helping to hold them still so you have both hands free to use. If doing it solo, assuming your chickens tolerate being handled, put them on a table/platform high enough for you to be able to see what you're doing, then use your off hand to hold them down high on the back (almost to the neck). Most birds will bend down and forward, which leaves their butt in the air. Trim from vent on down about 1/2" away from the skin with sharp scissors - if it makes you nervous, trim a little longer or a little less the first time, and repeat a few days later if needed.

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