Washing chickens/turkeys - cold water ok?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PrairieFarmer, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. PrairieFarmer

    PrairieFarmer In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    So...I signed my daughter up for chicken 4-H this year and signed myself up for WAY more craziness than I realized. Hence this question....
    We have to wash the chickens and turkeys for the fair. I've gotten the instructions on how to do that, but they all say to use warm water. Getting warm water to where I'm going to wash the birds (sorry, BUT NOT doing it in the bathroom!) would be a crazy hassle of boiling and hauling water.
    So...Do the birds REALLY need to have warm water? If washed on a sunny warm day? What if the water was simply tepid? (I could fill the tubs earlier and let the sun warm them up). Advice appreciated.

  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I usually just fill a bucket from the bathtub faucet and carry that to where we're doing the bird washing.
  3. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yes, we wash chickens for 4H every year and it's easy. I do it outside and use 3 plastic dishpans from the Dollar Store and fill them with tap water, then add hot water from the house with a bucket so it's warm. You can also let the hose set out in the sun if it's a hot day. This year was so hot during fair that I just let the tubs of water set out in the sun for a few hours and they got warm enough. I use one tub for washing and the other two for rinsing. Dawn dishsoap works great and you can use an old toothbrush to get the "dingleberries" out of their feathers. Wrap them in an old bathtowel when they are done and then we put them in a pen in the sun to dry for a bit. They'll preen and fluff themselves. You can blowdry them, but on a hot day I let the sun do it. They come out looking fabulous for the poultry show. If you're showing white meat birds, you can use that blue shampoo from the feed store to get them really white. Be careful not to use too much though or it'll turn your bird blue!

    Have fun. Being in 4H with my kids is what started me into raising my own flock!


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