How often do people wash their chickens

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Lornsy
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How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Lornsy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:21 pm

I've seen a few posts about washing with baby shampoo and towel dry then to dry with a hair dryer on a low setting ..but how often do chickens need washing and does it rid them of lice mites etc ?
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Marigold
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Marigold » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:36 pm

I have never washed my chickens and don't intend to try!
People who take them to shows do wash and blow dry them, and say they seem to enjoy it. And if a bird has a pooey bottom or is otherwise contaminated, she would need a wash. Otherwise, healthy birds stay clean if they can have a good dustbath and preen their feathers, and you can add red mite powder, diatomaceous earth, or louse powder as required to the dustbath and they'll do a more efficient job of getting it right down in their feathers than is possible if you just sprinkle it on the bird.
At this time if year I would think it was not a good idea to wash them unless absolutely necessary, as the change of temperature from the warmth of the hair dryer to the cold conditions back in the run might be harmful to them and upset their acclimatisation to living outdoors.
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chrismahon
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by chrismahon » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:35 am

We have some Orpingtons with very fluffy bottoms Lornsey. Yesterday Charity had her dirty bottom feathers washed and blow dried. For some reason every now and again they do a runny poo that sticks to the feathers. We use just luke warm water normally and occasionally baby shampoo. We don't show our birds so have never given one a complete wash and we have never washed the bottoms of any other breeds. It seems to be an Orpington thing as we have had this problem with all of them, except one blue. We do often wash feet, just to check them over properly and treat bumble foot or scaly leg mite. It is worth picking all birds up once a week and checking them over for lice or mites. Some of them get used to the regular handling and some never do and always make a fuss!
Lornsy
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Lornsy » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:30 am

I pick mine up about once a week two like it more than the others they are my ginger ninjas ..they are the most inquisitive so picking them up is easier .bluebell will run about a bit first as she's the egg layer she does do the squatting thing which is to my advantage in picking her up .i put louse powder on them at the mo and in the bedding as they did have crawling things on them the other day so at five day intervals I'm louse powdering them all and their bedding ..trying to break the louse cycle .
Thanks for your comments on washing I might wait until spring then for their first bath and keep powdering .
Will get some D E powder next x
Cab
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Cab » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:02 pm

I rather imagine my girls would resent being bathed.

I have this year 'clipped' feathers from around Bess's back end. She's my old speckledy and she's had some of what might be best described as clingons around the vent - dried poo (yuck). I could have dealt with it by bathing but instead I chose to clip with a very fine pair of nail feathers - she's thankfully fluffy enough such that I didn't expose any skin for anyone else to peck at.

As other have said, dust bathing is how they like to keep clean, and I can't recommend keeping a good dust bathing area clear too highly. They love dust bathing and its no end of fun watching them basically spatchcock themselves flat and hurl dust about the place.
Icemaiden
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Icemaiden » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:35 pm

Love the description of dustbathing, Cab :D
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Lornsy
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Lornsy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:23 am

Mine seem to like dust bathing in their coop in the sawdust but one of the girls has dug a hen shaped hole in the run to lay in and scratch about in while the other 3 watch on to see how it's done :-)
Cab
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Cab » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:23 pm

You'll soon have the fun of watching three chickens trying to dustbathe in a one chicken sized hole :)

I seem to recall reading something about how little depressions in the ground surface are often found around the front doors of old farm houses in archaeological digs. Think it was iron age roundhouses. It was only when reconstructive archaeologists rebuilt such houses that they found the chickens would tend to dust bathe in and about the trampled, disturbed ground by the doors (also a good place to beg for scraps I should think) that they concluded these little depressions are dust baths.
Lornsy
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Re: How often do people wash their chickens

Post by Lornsy » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:52 pm

I've added some sand for use for children's sand pits to a corner of their run plus some indoors in their coop in the corner in a cat litter tray but gave yet to see them use the sand :-)
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