Chickens get dirty just like every other animal, right? Wondering whether you should be bathing your chicken? Well, that is what we want to talk to you about on this page., The answer isn’t quite as simple as you may think! On this page, we are going to introduce you to absolutely everything that you need to know about bathing a chicken. This includes advice on why it is so important and, perhaps more importantly for you, how to bath a chicken.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
Can You Bath A Chicken?
Yes, you can bath a chicken. However, it is not really something that you should be doing all that regularly. In fact, the only times you really should be bathing your chicken is if one of the following has happened:
- Your chicken is unable to give themselves a dust bath
- Your chicken is injured
- The chicken has been sprayed by a skunk
In the majority of cases, most people will never have to give their chickens a bath. In fact, we have seen cases where people have owned a chicken for a decade and perhaps gave it one or two baths.
If your chicken has access to the outdoors (and they really should), then they should be able to give themselves a dust bath.
Some people may also want to provide their chickens with access to water too just in case the chickens want to hop into and enjoy that water too.
Benefits of Bathing a Chicken
The only real benefit to bathing a chicken is to help keep them clean when they are not able to do so.
Bathing a chicken will help to eliminate parasites and filth from the chicken. This can keep the chicken healthy, even when they are not able to maintain their own health.
Regularly bathing your chicken will actually cause more harm than good.
This is because by bathing your chicken regularly, you will start to strip away all of the fantastic oils that are on your chicken’s body.
These oils are meant to provide the chicken with the protection that they need. By taking away these oils, which chickens spend a lot of time spreading all over their body, then your chicken is going to be exposed to parasites and bacteria.
This could end up killing them in certain situations which, of course, isn’t going to be good.
How To Bath a Chicken
If you are insistent on cleaning on your chicken, then do it no more than once or twice per year, and follow the information here. You have to be as delicate as possible otherwise you will cause an injury to your chicken.
We also want to point out that chickens do not like to be bathed and we aren’t really surprised here. It isn’t really something that is all that natural to them so, if you bathe them, then you will probably be causing them a lot of aggravation.
This means that they are going to be flapping about like there is no tomorrow.
The result? Well, you are going to end up getting wet. Very wet. It can also put a lot of stress on the chicken.
This means that you will want to ensure that you are washing them for as little time as possible, otherwise, it could cause a premature death. Sure, that is rare, but you still have to be aware of absolutely every eventuality, right?
If you can, we recommend that you only spot clean your chicken too.
It is very rare that you will need to clean every part of the chicken. So, keep that cleaning to the minimum to help reduce their stress levels, while at the same time reducing the chance of those precious oils being whisked away from their body.
You will need to use pet soap and some lukewarm water for this. Make sure that the water isn’t too hot. You aren’t cooking your chicken!
The soap should be pet-friendly. Dog or cat soap should be fine here.
You can then rub them gently with a sponge and the soap.
Do not get too much soap on their body. It should be just enough to rinse them, but not so much that they are drenched in soap.
Ideally, you would be showering the chicken as opposed to washing them. So, if you can clean them in your sink with a spray nozzle, then this is probably going to be a lot better for your chicken’s skin.
It is important that you are as gentle as possible when you are bathing a chicken. We have seen some people be incredibly harsh in their cleaning.
This means pulling at the feathers, which irritates the chicken and can cause them a huge amount of pain. If they have something in their feathers e.g. poop or grime, then gently rub it out.
It may take a while but, we promise you, this is going to be a whole lot better for your chicken.
When you have fully cleaned your chicken, make sure that the soap is washed out. If it is, then you can dry your chicken. There are two ways that you can do this.
If it is warm outside, then we suggest that you let your chicken dry naturally. It is safer for the chicken. Just let them run around outside and their feathers should try off pretty quickly.
If it is cold out, then do not let your chicken run around without drying them off first. This could kill them. This means that you will need to use be using a hairdryer.
Switch it to the absolute lowest possible heat and gently go over your chicken with the hairdryer. It will take them a short while to dry off, but it will be much safer for your animal.
However, we cannot stress enough just how important it is that the hairdryer is kept on the lowest possible heat. Hold the hairdryer away from your chicken’s body too.
Bathing a Chicken – Final Words
You can bath a chicken, but it shouldn’t be that frequently. You will probably only ever have to bath a chicken a couple of times over the course of their life.