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!

Trimming vent feathers on cochins

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Godiva, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    880
    1
    161
    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    How do I do this? I think I need to do it because the last lot of eggs from Calypso were not fertile and I noticed that both she and Frodo's feathers around their vents are pretty grungy with poop etc. I was wondering if there are just too many feathers in the way for him to be able to fertilise the eggs? Any thoughts on this? And how exactly do I do it? How short should the feathers be and what size area should be trimmed? Thanks for any input...
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would just trim all the bum feathers down about an inch or as far down as they are dirty. Just don't snip into pin feathers.
     
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    3,081
    53
    269
    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    You have to trim to the skin. Any 'stubble' can be an irritant making the boys dismount early or the girls resisting too much.

    The shaft that you leave in will push it's self out with there next molt or sooner.

    On standards start at the vent and go 4 inches. Bantams, I think it is 2-3 inches. You want to remove more above the vent on the ladies and below on the boys.

    I would trim off any feathers with poo on them. During warmer months this can be a HUGE problem. Flys will lay eggs in the poo and the maggots will start eating. Left unchecked they can eat into the bird. Once that happens there is nothing you can do. The bird will show no signs of a problem until it is too late.

    Matt
    Morganton, NC
     
  4. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    880
    1
    161
    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    Thanks very much for the info. What do you use to trim the feathers Matt? Just some scissors? I guess this is going to be a two person job with one holding the bird and the other doing the trimming. I have some small scissors for trimming around my dogs pads, those be ok? When you say 2-3 inches for the banties does that mean diameter?
     
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Godiva-
    I had a Wyandotte that always had a poopy butt. It was a two person job. DH would hold her over the sink and I would clean her butt (wearing gloves! :eek: ) with a little bit of soap and warm water. Then, I would trim her fuzzy butt feathers with sissors and blow dry her (low warm setting) before putting her back outside.
     
  6. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    3,081
    53
    269
    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Quote:Sorry about the delay in replying.

    I use sharp scissors that, I think, can from a barbershop. As long as they are sharp and strong enough to cut through the feather they should be fine. I know a man that uses the same sheers you use with sheep. He has ALOT of birds and needs to do them quickly. I can clip them myself now, but the first year it was definately a 2 person job.

    2-3 inches would be the radius, but is just an estimate. It depends on the bird and the amount of fluff. With males you have to mostly remove feathers under the vent. The females you have to remove above the vent. Just becareful not to hit skin. I would trim, wait a week, and set some eggs to test fertility. If no luck, trim some more and try again.

    Matt
    Morganton, NC
     
  7. professor_yellow

    professor_yellow Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    21
    Jan 28, 2008
    I think a Brazilian wax job might be best for the breeder hens. That stubble always a sore subject.
     
  8. okto

    okto Out Of The Brooder

    98
    0
    39
    Jun 30, 2007
    los angeles
    funny time for this post.

    just yesterday, my wife and i pinned down our big orpington.

    she had poop encrusted all around her vent. first we softened it with warm water and soap. then i trimmed off the feathers that were hopeless. ended up being pretty much all of them around her vent. had to pluck one or two. she just shut her eyes and waited it out. the second we were down, she ran right into the dirt for a dust bath. we didnt even dry her butt.

    it was easy. just got a pair of regular old scissors and cut away, carefully.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Now that's some good info there that will up the fertility! Can't have a poopy bum with no feathers! I'll have to keep this advice in mind. Haven't bred such fluffy butts before so haven't had this type of problem!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by