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Washing Chickens?

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by jermoatc, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. jermoatc

    jermoatc Songster

    Feb 5, 2011
    Lake Crystal, MN
    What soap do y'all prefer when washing chickens before a show??
    And what method do y'all use?
    Fanci Feathers Marans likes this.


    Nov 8, 2017
    My Coop
    I use Dawn for general fowl, for birds with mites I use Adams cat lice and mites shampoo.
    For white birds I prefer dog whitening shampoo.
    I don’t wash ducks with shampoo, as it strips the oils of their feathers. Instead, I provide clean water for them to swim in every day, and they stay spotless all the time. (Spot clean if need be.)

    Apart from the regular washing regimen, I also scrub a toothbrush with a little shampoo over the legs to get rid of the dirt. I use cat nail clippers for the toenails and human toenail clippers for the beak trimming. (Only trim the beak if it is too long)
    Finally, to give them a polished look, rub vitamin E oil or Vaseline over the comb and legs.
    jermoatc likes this.
  3. Fanci Feathers Marans

    Fanci Feathers Marans Chicken Tender

    Jun 26, 2017
    My Coop
    I use Mane & Tail for mymchickens and recently in my own hair. It gets it- quite literally- squeaky clean. And squeaky clean means easily tangled. This isn't a problem on the primaries, but the Down gets tangled. So if you do use horse shampoo, be sure and use some conditioner on the butt fluffies.
    For white chickens, blueing supposedly helps remove stains, but havong black chickens, I've never used it.
    I have also used a pet fragrance spray on day-of. You can usually find these in the pet isle with the tick and flea shampoo.
  4. Noellereagan

    Noellereagan Songster

    Jun 20, 2018
    Big Bend, Wisconsin
    I use a drop of dawn and a tablespoon of ACV to soak through the waterproof feathers (it helps penetrate) then I soak for a few min in a two-sided sink and then I wash with gentle baby shampoo and rinse off in the second sink. My birds are really good because they’re used to it so I do it right in the kitchen. I find that an actual beak and nail trimmer for birds works the best for trimming and nails because you tend to be able to see easier if it’s made just for birds and then you don’t end up hitting the quick as much.

    For legs I also clean them right before the show with a magic eraser. Just a note I spray on show sheen for horses while they’re still wet. Don’t use too much product the judges don’t like that (show sheen)
    I also always wrap mine in the towel and hold them for a little bit and blow dry on low the way that the fathers grow. Otherwise they shiver. I always wrap mine in the towel and hold them for a little bit and blow dry on low the way that the feathers grow. Otherwise they shiver.
    jermoatc likes this.
  5. Fur-N-Fowl

    Fur-N-Fowl Songster

    May 25, 2019
    I mainly wash my Silkies which have soft fluffy feathers. If it's hard feather birds you are washing the method I'd give would be different (as in use a toothbrush on the feet and foot feathers but not on the main feather of the bird, it can damage hard feathers).

    However as for shampoo, I personally use Johnsons dog whitening shampoo (or puppy shampoo), wash off and then re-wash with Johnsons baby shampoo.

    All are relatively gentle and won't be overly damaging on the feathers, just keep out of eyes and facial area.

    Everyone else has provided good advice! :thumbsup
    jermoatc and HuffleClaw like this.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] [​IMG] When I bathe my birds before taking them to a show, I put shampoo in one tub, water with a cup of vinegar to cut the shampoo in a second tub and in a third tub I put plain water in for a final rinse. Then I wrap them in a towel like a burrito to dry them somewhat and sometimes use a blow drier.
    jermoatc likes this.
  7. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Good idea on the vinegar rinse. I've used vinegar to cut through soap in other cleaning things, but never thought to do it for the chickens.
  8. BeaghCochin

    BeaghCochin In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2019
    I start with a bucket of water an let them seep for a few minutes then move them to a bucket with a drop of pet shampoo in it an wash them well in that , then I shower them off an put them in a fresh bucket of water , then wrap them in a towel and to finish off have them dry out on a stool in front of the fire , then when there nearly dry I take a hair dryer a blow out the under feathers :)
    Hope this is of some help , below I have attached some photos

    Attached Files:

    ColtHandorf likes this.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Amazingly the birds are quite calm when I bathe them. I think they like it.
    ColtHandorf likes this.

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