Very dirty hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Curious1234, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Curious1234

    Curious1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2012
    One of my 6 chickens has become very dirty for the past 1 month. She's otherwise healthy. I feel so sad looking at her because she looks so dirty!

    She has very dirty feathers. And her feathers are not shiny... I know that she did accidentally broke an egg and it got on her. This may be linked to that. Is there a reason why her feathers have become so dirty? is it safe to wash her? Any experience?
    Thank you in advance everyone!
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  2. Banana Hen

    Banana Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With my flock(s)
    I doubt it is mites, but you can check. If it is mites, (you will know by movement of tiny creatures in the feathers) get Adams' flea and tick spray for dogs and cats. This is what I use. Then spray her feathers for mites. try to get all of them, and check the rest of your flock too, for if one has them, all do. Clean their house for good measure. If you want, wash your chicken. Washing gets rid of mites also. This is done by running warm (about as warm as you would use on a baby) water and washing her thoroughly. Then get some dog and/or cat shampoo and shampoo her. It does not matter if you get the anti flea and tick stuff, it works just fine. After you are done rinsing her with the warm water, put her on a towel and blow dry her. This must be done very well, or your chicken may get really cold and die. As soon as you are done blow drying her, you can set her outside again. If your area is really cold and she is a little damp, you may want to keep her inside in a cat carrier with some shavings in it and release her in the morning. I hope this helps.[​IMG]
     
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    I do think it would be best to give her a bath, it's not as hard as you might think, just be sure to do it someplace where if she splashes it won't matter (we wash chickens in our laundry room.)

    Here's an article I've posted on our website about how to wash chickens. If I were you, I might do so with a flea shampoo, just in case she does have mites: http://pathfindersfarm.com/Washing.html


    What you'll need:
    Three pails or large buckets
    One large towel per bird
    Dog nail clippers
    Dog nail file
    An old toothbrush
    An old washcloth or other rag
    Blood stop powder, or cayenne powder (in case you nick a quick)
    Carriers deeply bedded with clean shavings
    Hair dryer (if it's cool outside)
    Dish soap or some sort of show shampoo (better to use something like Ivory than Dawn, which strips too much oil from the feathers)
    Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
    Crates deeply bedded with shavings to put the birds into for the final drying time.

    Fill the buckets with warm but not too hot water. Put some Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) into the second bucket
    (not too much, just enough to cut the soap) and if you are washing white birds, several drops of bluing into the third.

    Gently lower the bird into the first bucket (but do not cover the head), swishing it up and down to get the feathers wet. Put some soap into your hand and gently
    brush it onto the bird, stroking in the direction of the feathers, not against the grain.

    Work the soap in, paying attention to the vent area and the toes. Be careful with soap around the eyes, best to just use a washcloth to wipe the head area. Use the
    toothbrush to scrub the toes and legs, get all the crud off of them.

    Transfer the bird to the second bucket, swishing up and down to get the soap off. Then put into the third bucket for a final rinse. Wrap the bird in a towel, leaving the head
    and feet sticking out. Sit with it on your lap (you will get wet) and gently trim toes and beak if needed. Use the file on the beak to remove sharp
    edges and refine the look. Wipe around eyes again with the towel.

    Use the blow dryer with caution, not too hot! Using the warm (not hot) setting on the blow dryer, dry the chicken so that it is almost dry (you won't get it all the way dry.) Place it into the crate with shavings in a warm, non-drafty place to finish drying (this may take several hours.) We find we can do between six to eight birds per day effectively (run out of crates!) Once the bird is
    completely dry, return it either to the cage or its clean pen.)

    Note:
    Before you wash your birds, you should always check them for mites or lice, and treat appropriately. It's no fun trying to wash a bird with mites crawling all over your arms (yuck!)
     

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