This stage of the bathing process is where you will actually remove all of the dirt, poop and other gunk from your bird’s feathers, feet, comb, and wattles. Lift the bird out of the water and carefully and gently squeeze as much water as is comfortable for the bird out of the plumage. First of all, gather all of the supplies you will need ahead of time so you won’t be searching for them while your bird is in the water. A word of caution: be sure that your water is not too hot you don’t want to scald your chicken’s feathers or skin. Ours have had great fun digging a dust bath next to a car tire, in seedling patches, or in my potted plants. After the bath the chickens are in a really good mood and they try to socialize with other fellows as well. Bundling the birds this way discourages escape and running around. The vinegar bath step is beneficial to your birds for several reasons. The first bucket is a soap bath. Closely inspect each one to make sure it is well grown and healthy, meets all the requirements of the New Zealand Poultry Standard and does not have serious defects. If you are using your sink or tub you replicate each of the bucket bath stages. This stage of the bathing process is where you will actually remove all of the dirt, poop and other gunk from your bird’s feathers, feet, comb, and wattles. Leave a comment here and share your tips and tricks with us! Just watch the bit about the lady with the chicken. Bathing chickens is … Olive or sunflower oil are suitable but you can also use something like baby oil to brighten up the comb. A plastic container, about the size of a fish bin, is half-filled with water which should feel comfortably warm but not hot. Additionally, under this dryer-vent method, there was no risk of scorching feathers. When it comes to preparing birds for the annual poultry show season, every one gets a wash, dry and blow wave. The silkie's are healthy but they do not look like the ones you see on the web site because they are dirty. Certainly, it would be easier control the water temperature and rinse the bird in a kitchen sink than in buckets in the backyard. Gently work the soapy water into the bird’s feathers. Cooking Oil Spray Acquire another spray bottle. Using baby shampoo, a mild soap such as Ivory, or a pet shampoo, lather her up, rinse and wrap in an old clean towel and dry. I fill the first with about 4 inches of warm water and baby shampoo and the second with just warm water. To get a good grip on a bird, let your hand slide along its breast bone from the front towards the tail. Whatever your reason for giving a bath you should make sure you do it the correct way to avoid stressing your chicken … • Select the very best standard bred bird several weeks before the show date. Once you catch the chicken, while holding your hands over the wings, loosely wrap their head and upper body in a dry towel. We then laid out each of the towel-wrapped chickens (“chicquitos”) in front of the blowing laundry dryer vent on the floor. Most of our birds seemed to enjoy the drying process, closing their eyes and dozing off during this blow dry. The idea of washing dirty chickens where I prepare my food simply grosses me out. Bob Briggs demonstrates how to give a chicken a bath at the Kansas State Fair. At least a wet chicken does not smell nearly as bad as a wet dog. She Loves It!” description=”Bean the silkie chicken got super dirty – so we gave her a bath! Your email address will not be published. Every chicken loves to bathe in dust. Note: if you treat a bird gently and keep it calm, there should be no stress for the bird during or after the bathing process. Gavin used a small towel to wet then he’s head and neck feathers so as not to cause her undue stress. This is an easy and effective alternative to using a hairdryer on your birds. If you keep your chickens confined within a chicken coop, without a run, you should make room for a small dust bath, about the size of 2-3 chickens, if possible. When that doesn’t happen, splash more water at … While each of our chickens was in this bath, we worked the vinegar water through their feathers all over their bodies. Counter to what intuition might tell you, they get clean by getting dirty . This final bath is the final rinse to remove any remaining dirt, soap or vinegar from the bird’s body. I should note that we did not get any of our birds’ earlobes wet. The best birds in the country are on show from now until the end of July and it’s a great opportunity for anyone who loves poultry to see some of the best, most beautiful and rarest at their local show (see page 45 for when one is on in your area). Most birds remain calm when being washed and previous handling will also help with establishing a trusting relationship between bird and handler. Thank you The poultry show season typically lasts from April until the end of July. Your email address will not be published. Follow Jess as she gives her Silkie a bath. • Regular handling is a very important part of show preparation and most fanciers take their fowls out of their cages twice a day to get them used to being handled. Canterbury Poultry judge Gavin Greenwood bathed, scrubbed and groomed a Black Orpington bantam hen and also shared a few show secrets. Hold onto the wings gently to discourage flapping and escape attempts. Some online chicken sources suggest that you wash your birds in your kitchen sink. The last thing you want after learning how to bathe a chicken is for your birds to start showing sick chicken symptoms. You will need towels and a bucket for the final rinse. 4. 3. Along with the DE, wood ash is a great natural way to kill parasites. When chickens start to feel a little bit dirty or gritty, they will dig a shallow ditch (in soil, mulch, sand, or other dry, loose materials), in which they will burrow and throw the dirt over themselves. 7. Gavin removed one small white feather from above this hen’s eye. Sometimes a second or even third bath is required to remove as much soap from the bird’s plumage as possible. How would you acclimate them back to that temperature, as to not shock their system. Keep the bird’s head above water at … I added about 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar (though apple cider vinegar would also work quite well) to a large bucket of warm water (3 to 5 gallons). I have read that wet ears can make birds much more susceptible to getting ill.  Is that true? This meant he could hold her securely with just one hand, a big help. There are four steps: get the hen wet, … 3. Then in the second bucket just have warm water. Required fields are marked *. Be gentle and work the soap and soapy water by stroking in the direction of the feathers, or you will break feathers otherwise. You might wish to consider adding salt to this warm soap bath as an easy chicken mites treatment that can help kill any pests that might be hanging out on your birds. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Ask the Expert — December 2014/January 2015, Ask the Expert —December 2015/January 2016. But I do have a specific dust bath area for them. The HenCam 278,429 views. So if you could give them a specific location in the coop (like inside an old tire) where it is filled with dirt, DE, and some wood ash, then you are giving your birds a great chance at killing off any mites that might be trying to live on them. For our bathing process, my sister and I used the three-bucket method out in her backyard. Use a soft nail brush to give its feet a thorough scrub and clean. Birds are not able to regulate their body temperatures when their feathers are soaking wet, and consequently, even on seemingly comfortably warm days, your birds they may become chilled if left to drip-dry in the yard. 6. Try to use a basic soap – if you’re not sure of the soap you’re using, do a patch test (on a bird you are not planning to show) a few days beforehand so you can make sure it doesn’t cause any allergic reaction or discolouration of light-coloured feathers. In this bucket, you add mild dish soap to the warm water. We saved a lot of time, effort and energy being able to dry the birds together as a group. Stare at poop, willing it to fall off into the water. Keep several towels handy. Or do I just need to brush them to get the dirty off of them. If you would like to learn more about how to wash your own backyard flock and learn additional tips to getting your birds into competition shape read more HERE about it or listen to Episode 053 of the Urban Chicken Podcast (Listen HERE). I have just added silkie chickens to my chicken coop. An apron may be in order. In order to kill any creepy-crawlies, your birds will need to soak, fully emerged up to their waddles for at least five minutes. Backyard chickens ... How to give a baby chick a bath, part 1 - Duration: 1:49. I can understand the argument for using the kitchen sink. With fifty chickens, I don’t see myself doing this on a regular basis, but it’s good to know the option is there. Regardless of whether you choose the three bucket method in the yard or use a sink inside the house, the process of properly washing your birds is the same. Making a Dust Bath for Your Chickens Chickens will naturally use a patch of dry dirt to make their own dust bath, digging and scratching out a hollow area or shallow basin where they can flutter, shake, kick and roll to spread the dust all over their plumage. Gently work the soapy water into the bird’s feathers. Place chicken in the wash tub with soapy water. Since we were washing several birds in a row, we did not have time to individually blow dry each bird. A healthy and good smelling chicken NEEDS to take a dust bath on a regular basis. Under the three-bucket method, each bucket represents a different step in the bathing process. Learn some quick tips and tricks for giving your chicken a bath. Wash and rinse the bottle thoroughly, getting rid of … Rinse or scrub - depends on what they need. But, a dust bath for chickens not only helps keep your flock smelling fresh, it is also a natural chicken mite treatment. A couple of our birds acted like they were nodding off in the bath. • About two weeks before the show date place your selected fowl in a show training pen (one bird per pen), a replica of the show cage that will be used on the day. Basically a dust bath is the chicken equivalent of a shower- they get dirty to get clean, as strange as that may seem. Whatever the reason, not only is it fairly easy to give a chicken a soap-and-water bath, but it seems to be an enjoyable experience for the bird! The first bucket is a soap bath. Though most chickens don’t like having a bath, if you have the water perfectly warmed, some of the birds (once they accept that they are all wet and stuck in a bath) end up enjoying the warmth of the water. Care must be taken to not expose a bird’s skin to the hot air for too long as they might get burned. Start at the beginning of the series to learn about giving mouth to beak to a chicken…lol. GET ALONG TO YOUR LOCAL SHOW Run lukewarm water into the tub.Bathing in water is not a natural or welcome activity for a chicken and there will be flapping and resistance initially. Thank you to the Taylor family of Ashburton who hosted this event and provided their hen for the demonstration. If they've been paddling in muck we just wash their feet, no need to strip their natural feather oils unnecessarily. Do chickens like baths? Do you have any helpful hints or tips for someone learning how to bathe a chicken? You may feel that you want to get your white chicken back to a nice shiny white or give your hens some TLC. Give your birds plenty of space to dust-bathe, as this is natural lice and mite deterrent. Can I give them a bath and fluff them up? BEFORE & AFTER To finish drying the bird, stroke it with a large dry towel to remove as much moisture as possible before using a hair dryer on a low setting. The second is a portion of a documentary called The Natural History of the Chicken. In the end, the decision to bath your chickens really has to be a personal choice. 1. Giving a hen a bath isn’t as difficult as washing an unwilling dog or cat but it present its own challenges. The next step in how to bathe a chicken is to dry your birds. This should be kept meticulously clean; litter material is usually either sawdust or wood shavings and the bird’s droppings need to be removed twice daily to ensure it remains as clean as possible. There is a reason for the saying, “I’m madder than a wet hen.” However, as the flock master, you sometimes must force your birds to do things for their own good against their will. I want to give her a bath, but i don't know which soaps are safe for chickens. A bar of good quality soap or some hair shampoo can be added to the water which makes it easier to wet the feathers. Hell no! Originally published in 2014 and regularly vetted for accuracy. Opal got her bath in the barn. Held this way, the fowl should be calm and remain under control. 6, 2014) Do the bath wherever it’s convenient for you. I think it’d be a tad chaotic to give the bath with the other hens coming over, though. Position your forefinger (index finger) between its legs, clamping the legs with your thumb on one side and the remaining fingers on the other side. A dust bath for chickens will only go so far toward maintaining the health of your flock. Care needs to be taken to run with the feathers and to not bend them. You will need some kind of shampoo and some white vinegar to use as part of a rinse. In this article, we’ll answer the question of “Can you give your baby chicks a bath?” [brid video=”468118″ player=”19074″ title=”Bathing A Silkie Chicken! It takes time to properly prepare a bird for exhibition but it is well worth the effort as a well-presented high quality bird is a pleasure to view and judge. Also read about tried and tested home remedies for chicken pox scars that WORK! Chickens are creative creatures, and will put a dust bath in the oddest places. First, wrap the freshly washed bird in a clean towel to soak up much of the water. • Bathing/Drying: Place the chicken in the bin with soapy water. Water should be provided in small raised containers to prevent splashing of water. In this bucket, you add mild dish soap to the warm water. One is straight from its usual pen (left), while the other has undergone grooming in preparation for the show bench. Remove the white feather sheaths with a metal dog grooming comb. As rodents often carry mites and lice, any method you use to keep them away from your flock will help reduce the chances of an attack. Next, you should blow dry the wet bird gently on a warm setting. Unlike four-legged pets, washing should be done 2-4 days before the fowl is to be exhibited to give the bird time to preen itself to bring its feathers back into perfect alignment. I made a chicken dust bath in an old tractor tire filled with sand, wood ash, and diatomaceous earth. The demonstration you’ll see on the next couple of pages is from an open day held by the Ashburton Fanciers Society earlier this year. Most chickens can keep themselves reasonably clean by taking regular dust baths and grooming on their own. To ensure the droppings are firm, only feed wheat or pellets. I, however, do not personally subscribe to the kitchen sink method. Dunk the chicken in the water and slosh the chicken around in the water until it is rinsed. Hold the bird securely with one hand on the wings at all times, then place the bird into the tub slowly. 2. Similar to the sentiments often said about spanking a child, bathing your birds will “hurt you more than it hurts them.” Even if you know how to bathe a chicken, no chicken bathing can be done without much flapping, squawking and splashing. Indoor dust bath: The indoor dust bath is nothing extraordinary but a dust box that you create and place inside the chicken coop. A bird that is sick and/or has loose manure should not be chosen. The chicken goes into the first and … Finally, a bird should be wrapped in a large dry towel to finish off the drying process. You may need to bathe your chicken. After a few times, they will look forward to you giving them baths. There isn’t usually a need to wash a chicken unless you are showing a chicken. Chances are if your chicken is “ not too fresh,” then they do not have access to a dust bath. Carefully submerge the bird so that its back is covered with water. how to give a chicken a bath? Other reasons for bathing include cleaning out or assessing a wound on your bird. 3 STEPS TO PICKING UP A BIRD WITHOUT DAMAGING ITS FEATHERS (OR YOU) Once at the show, it is transferred to its assigned show cage. Second, vinegar brings out the shiny quality of a bird’s plumage. What is a dust bath? Here are some important “do’s” for you to adhere to: Plan on getting wet. First, vinegar is non-toxic to birds and will help remove any soap residue from the bird’s feathers. • During winter, when a wood burner is used to heat the home, many fanciers wrap their birds in large towels and let them dry out in front of the fire after a bath. (Video by Denise Neil/The Wichita Eagle/Sept. Cup water with hand and splash at chicken’s butt. TIPS Poultry shows are held in large covered halls and all are open to the public once judging has finished, usually on weekend days so as many people can come along and have a look as possible. 3:10. After the soap bath, the second bucket is the vinegar-water bath. Keep the water a comfortable, lukewarm temperature. I turn on the overhead fan to help rid the bathroom of that lovely wet chicken odor. I got them from a farm that is not as clean as mine. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Stroking the fowl and talking to it are good preparation for the actual judging process. A chilled bird very easily becomes a sick bird. It’s a great way to really give your chicken a thorough cleaning and … 8. A large utility sink makes the chore easy, but you can use tubs of water outside as well. • Bathing should be done 2-4 days before the bird is exhibited. So, anything can be a possible (and massively destructive) place for them to dig a dust bath hole. If necessary treat for any sign of mites or lice. Then in the third bucket have some warm water and diluted downy. Your chickens may look relatively clean, but get them into a bath and you will be surprised by how filthy they actually are. Bathing a chicken is a lot like bathing an infant or a dog- the most important thing is to prevent drowning while accomplishing the objective with reasonable speed. To avoid your bathed chickens from catching a cold, I strongly suggest that you dry your birds. My sister was able to get double value during the drying stage as she was drying her clean laundry and drying our wet birds at the same time. Using the laundry dryer vent hose in this fashion worked great! The entry fee is usually around $2-$5 for an adult and free for children so it’s a great winter-time outing for the whole family. Don’t let a little chicken bath water deter you though — it’s a very doable process and not horrible. It shouldn’t be firmly attached and should slide off easily. If a Silkie needed a bath, but it was 30-40° outside. • Keep lighter coloured birds (white, buff, blue) out of direct sunshine in the weeks leading up to a show as light colours can fade or discolour. 2. Place the chicken in the water and let it soak while sloshing the water over and around it. However, if your bird has caked on droppings or has been sprayed by a skunk, then a bath is required. Do not use the hot setting on your blow dryer as you can easily scorch your bird’s feathers this way. A small bird will rest in the palm of your hand. 5. You can use old wooden boxes, or crates, to fill with your desired dust, or section off an area with lumber. The final tub in the three-bucket method is simply a bath of plain, warm water. Apply a bit of clear food grade oil to the comb and feet with a soft paint brush to enhance the appearance. Contact Us  / Newsletter / Advertise With Us  / Subscribe, Signs your chickens might have gapeworm PLUS how to treat it, How to recognise and treat respiratory problems in chickens, 5 common egg imperfections and what they say about your chickens. You can take this time to paint on more oil to enhance the appearance of the comb, wattles, ear lobes and legs. My sister and I dried our bathed birds in an unusual, but highly effective manner. I put two dish tubs in the bath tub. Either way, giving a silkie a bath is a very easy thing to do. Be sure to again gently work the plain rinse water through your birds’ feathers. In such a case, you need to wait for the first seven days or till the lesions dry up to take a bath. Simply fill a utility tub with soothing warm water and holding the chook with both hands, dip her into the water gently splashing water onto her feathers to wet her. These two Silkies, both bred and owned by long-time Ashburton poultry enthusiast Brian Glassey, show how extreme the makeover can be. When you want to look your very best, nothing beats a good pampering and it’s the same for poultry. Or if you prefer,you can add the soap to the water first. Instead, we wrapped each bird tightly in a towel (we wrapped each bird into chicken burritos or a “chicquito,” if you will). I really do not know, but decided to error on the side of caution. Consider adding pungent herbs to your nesting material. I would swear it was made as an homage to Christopher Guest. Bottom line – chickens don’t bathe like we (or many other animals) do. A large bird like the (moulting) Black Orpington rooster Roger McCormick is holding in the above pictures will rest on your forearm. In fact, for years that is all chicken … Being able to handle a fowl with one hand while keeping the other hand free is also a useful skill that can be practised during the daily handling sessions. This particular removal is allowed under the rules but if you are unsure, check with a senior member of your poultry club. Remember to keep talking to your chicken through the entire bathing process. How and When to Give a Chicken a Bath. • Once the date of the show has arrived, the fowl is put in a travel box (usually a wooden box with air holes). Some chicken farmers swear by this as a rodent and pest deterrent. Chicken Keeping Basics - How To Bathe a Chicken - Duration: 3:10. You can learn how by clicking the link. And third, a good soak in vinegar water can also kill pests. These are little bits of keratin that have remained on the tip of the feather as it has grown out over moulting. To get a good grip on a bird, let your hand slide along its breast bone from the front towards the tail. I assure you that you are going to end up fairly soaked and smelling of wet chicken by the end of the bird bathing process. Bathe your chicken only when necessary. For the general public it is a prime opportunity to view New Zealand’s most beautiful standard bred birds up close. Finally, a dust bath area. We then detached my sister’s clothing dryers vent hose from the wall and set it on the floor of her laundry room. OK, well i have a Golden Campine pullet chicken, who is going to the fair for a fancy poultry show in a few days. Do you know how to bathe a chicken? If I were inclined to wash my chickens inside my house, the bathtub would seem a more tolerable location to do so. In the winter I bring the hen into my mudroom.

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