Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bathing a chicken (it's really easy!)

There will eventually come a time when a chicken gets so dirty, she just needs a bath. As seasons change and the rainy Spring season arrives (read: muddy) that time may be arriving sooner then you think! While I don't like to bathe chickens unless they really need it, sometimes they really need it! 

Here are my super-simple instructions on bathing a chicken.

What you need: A plastic tub or bucket. (dollar tree)
A plastic cup. (save your big gulp cups)
Baby shampoo. (dollar store, generic)
Hair dryer and old toothbrush. 

How to bathe a chicken

You don't have to use a plastic tub or bucket, you can also use a bathroom sink or other small sink. I prefer to use a big bucket so I can bathe the chicken outside. Bathing a chicken is sort of like bathing a dog, even if they behave you'll still end up with water and soap in places it shouldn't be! lol Better to be safe then sorry and handle this whole process outside.
First fill the tub about 1/2 full with warm water and add a squirt of baby shampoo. Mix well. Place chicken in the tub keeping her head above the water! Wet the chicken completely avoiding her head. You can add some extra shampoo to feet or butts if needed. The chicken may relax. 

Oh yeah...some chickens think that baths are the ultimate spa experience and they just about fall asleep when placed in the warm soapy water! While it sound like this would make it easier to bathe a chicken, now you have to make sure to support her so she doesn't slip too far under the water!

After she's soaped up completely make sure you rinse the chicken well. This is where the cup comes in handy. Rinse with clean, warm water. Make sure all the soap residue is washed off of the chickens feathers. Remember, chickens preen their feathers with their beaks and you wouldn't want her ingesting soap that didn't rinse off during her bath.

When rinsed, remove the chicken from the tub and wrap her in a towel. Pat her with the towel gently for a few minutes to absorb most of the water into the towel, then rub gently. Blow dry on low heat, using the dry toothbrush to gently separate and fluff the feathers. You can also run your fingers through the feathers as you blow dry them. I like this method since my hand is right where the hair dryer is blowing. This makes it easy to constantly gauge the temperature.

If it's cold outside, keep the chicken in the house for a few hours to make sure she's completely dry before you take her back to the coop. That's it!  

dry cuckoo silkie chick

If nails need clipped, now is a good time to do it. The post Clipping A Chickens Nails will guide you through that process too. Have fun!

~L

Not sure whether your chicken actually needs a bath? Check out this post: Should You Bathe Your Chicken? 

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10 comments:

  1. Great post!
    My gals love a bath, even if it's the poopy butt one! :D x

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    1. I really was surprised the first time, I thought they would fight me...but no, they love it! lol

      ~L

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  2. I gave my cochin a bath once when the egg she was sitting on got broke and she was covered in goo. She was amazingly calm through the whole thing. I can't believe you got pictures. Too Cute!!!!

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    1. Ewwwww! No other way to get egg goo off but a bath. Sounds like she loved it!

      ~L

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  3. Gonna have to give a bunch of baths this spring, the silkies are all a mess!

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    1. Oh gosh, I know...mine too! The mud and snow sticks to those furry feet in the worst way! Good luck.

      ~L

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  4. Confession: My chickens have never had a bath. Further confession: I'm not sure they ever will. Unless I assign the chore to one of the kids.....

    :-)

    (Stopping by from Farm Fun Friday blog hop! This was truly a fun post!!!)

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    1. There you go....make the kids do it! ;-)

      ~L

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  5. Lol :) I've had to clean some poopy butts when the chicks had issues, but that's as close as i've come to bathing them. Thanks for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you this Sunday at:
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/03/the-creative-homeacre-hop-7.html

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    1. Poopy butts are much easier, but sometimes you have no choice. lol

      Thanks for the link, I will be there!

      ~L

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