How do you give a chicken a bath?

cottagehome2006June 10, 2006

I have just added silkie chickens to my chicken coop. I got them from a farm that is not as clean as mine. The silkie's are healthy but they do not look like the ones you see on the web site because they are dirty. Can I give them a bath and fluff them up? Or do I just need to brush them to get the dirty off of them. Might seem like a silly question but my other chicken are really clean and shiny.

Any ideas??

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huisjen(z5 ME)

There are several options.

1) Leave them alone.

2) Give them a dust bath, such as a pile of sand, maybe with a little diatomacious earth in it to help eliminate lice, etc.

3) Power wash them. Maybe take them to a coin operated car wash.

4) Machine wash, regular cycle, tumble dry on low heat.

5) Leave them alone. They may look drab because they need to molt, rather than because they're dirty.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 11:52AM
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You'll find some good discussions on chickens on the "farm life" forum. One member, Velvet Sparrow, has a web page that discusses, among other things, bathing chickens:

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 7:37AM
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I have two silkies in my urban garden and find that all the delicious melons rinds and fresh summer fruit makes for filthy silkies! For that sticky mess, some success can be had with a warm wet washcloth and some elbow grease. However, a sand pit under a large shrub or in their run will allow them to groom themselves. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:50AM
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Miztiki(9a TX)

See the smile on my face? :-)

Silkies can certainly be given a bath. That's what they do for show chickens. If you do that then use a very gentle shampoo like baby shampoo. They will float on their backs in a very relaxed state, apparently enjoying the whole thing. Gently wash them in slightly warm water and rinse them very thoroughly. Don't leave behind any residual shampoo. Then wrap them in a towel to soak up most of the water. You could then blow dry your Silkies so that they are all poofy if you want. Just be sure to keep them warm at all times.

That's all pretty drastic (though I have done it a few times for mine before a show). An easier way is to provide some clean bedding, like wood shavings, and let them fluff around in them. Or just give them some time and they will clean up on their own. Chickens are naturally clean and only get truly dirty when they are kept in less than ideal conditions (like a dirty or overcrowded coop).

Silkies are awesome chickens. Enjoy them!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:04AM
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you get a 5 gal bucket fill 1/2 full of water an put a bottel of witch hasel dip the chicken an he will stand an let you rub after few time he will like it

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 10:47PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

140° water with a small squirt of dish soap for 60 seconds. The dirt comes off with the feathers.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 9:35PM
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140 degrees is too hot. You get in 140 degrees naked and see what it feels like first.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 10:03AM
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Yikes! Please not 140 - You'll blanch your babies!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 10:19PM
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Like the power wash-car wash idea, and the machine wash suggestion,

( everybody knows that chickens are dry clean only),

the 140 degree water was sarcastic, and was actually talking about how you clean and de-feather a chicken carcass.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 12:14AM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

Gee, we always add vegetables when bathing our chickens. Sometimes noodles, too.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:56AM
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Is this the sequel to "Why did the chicken cross the road?"


    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 2:32PM
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Bathing chickens? The last four answers are on the money. Realisticly, adding mature stock from outside sources is just poor management. The risk of importing pests and/or diseases greatly outweighs any benefits from usually past prime of production birds. I've scored various livestock for free off the feedstore bulletin board over the years- tasty indeed!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 2:46PM
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can you power wash them?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 3:15AM
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This is how my chicken gets a bath...

Here is a link that might be useful: Mr. Joy gets a bath

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 12:04AM
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rootwad(z5 Ozarks)

I laughed until the tears ran when I read this post.

I realize that in today's world that homsteading is a misnomer but even so, when would I have time to bath my chickens. :o)


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:18PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Silkies are not production birds, so they aren't past prime until they are dead.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 2:45AM
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LOL, some of those answers were great! :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:17PM
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dry clean only? LOL

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:51PM
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came here looking for how to give my chicken a bath because a snake had gotten into our coop and crushed all the eggs he/she didn't eat and now my hens are covered in crusty, sticky, smelly, egg yolk-"re-homed" the snake and now to clean my birds. BTW the suggestions were fabulous! and funny and brightened my day :) I olny use the "spa treatment" (140 rinse then a veggie and mineral soak) for our Roosters, but I agree it is very efficient and tasty. I guess I'll go look on a show site to see how to actually bath my birds. Thanks for the laugh.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:09AM
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