What to do about my dirty hen . . .

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by scrapper, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. scrapper

    scrapper New Egg

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    Today I noticed that one of my hens is very dirty. I don't know how she got so dirty . . . . but I saw that she looks a bit red and raw, too. Maybe it is just looks that way because of the 'clumpiness' of her feathers due to being dirty?
    Should I try to bathe her? It is below freezing here, so I would have to do it in the house and dry her real good before she could go back out . . . . I've never bathed a chicken, is it even a good idea?
    I don't know where I could keep her until she dries though.[​IMG]

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  2. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is a dust bath area available to her? How do your other hens look?

    I would be very cautious about bathing her (removing protective oils from her feathers) & sticking her back outside (even after she is completely dry) in the cold.
     
  3. scrapper

    scrapper New Egg

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    Jun 17, 2008
    This chicken is the only dirty one.
    They had a big area of dirt that they had fluffed up nicely, but we got a foot of snow over the weekend and the temps have been very low, so everything is frozen now.
    I just picked up a childs sandbox this morning. Now I just have to find some kind of dirt . . . and some DE . . .
    A dust bath will clean this up?
     
  4. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, I would go with the dust bath first....

    DE - did you happen to see any mites? DE is never a bad idea....
     
  5. scrapper

    scrapper New Egg

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    Jun 17, 2008
    I don't see any mites, no.
     
  6. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her skin does look irritated but it might just be from extra exposure from the cold due to the dirty feathers. I'd do dust first but I'd be tempted to keep her warm until you get it worked out - feathers in that condition do NOT insulate.
     
  7. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does it look like dirt? Also, remove a couple of dirty feathers and shake the dirt on a piece of white paper. Then you'll know for sure it is dirt and not those tiny, tiny mites. It looks a little suspect to me.That or you bird has had some very running stool.
     
  8. scrapper

    scrapper New Egg

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    Jun 17, 2008
    Thanks so much.
    I will get the dust bath set up tomorrow. What is best for that . . . play sand, potting soil?
    The ground here is quite solid, so digging free dirt is just not happening.
    My feed store has DE in small bags, I think 3 lbs. I just add that to the dirt, right?
     
  9. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I still can't help but think there are mites there. Pull a few of the dirty feathers and shake them out on a white paper or cloth.
     
  10. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    The dust bath should pretty much clean her up if it is dirt. We had heavy snow and then rain and the run was a mess...most of my girls got dirty so I gave them a bath inside and it worked.
     

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