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Ginger had a bath today.

For some unknown reason, her butt feathers have been a bit poopy lately.  Maybe it’s all the greens that come with summer.  Maybe it’s all the rain, and more puddles from which to drink copious amounts of water.  Maybe she just has the runs.  I’m not sure the cause, but the result is obvious:  caked-on poopy butt feathers.

At first, I wasn’t going to do anything about it.  After all, she’s a chicken.  Chickens poop.  Sometimes it gets on their feathers (honestly, I’m not sure how they manage NOT to poop on their feathers most of the time – they have such fluffy butts, you would expect a few feathers to get poopy).  Usually they manage to keep each others’ butt feathers pretty clean.  It’s kinda cute how they groom each other in those hard to reach places, like when they clean around each others’ beaks.  But this situation just kept getting worse.

I decided to bathe her because a) the poop can start to irritate the delicate skin around the vent; and b) she’s a city chicken.  I wouldn’t let my dog run around the city with a dirty butt, so I’m not going to let my pretty city chicken strut in the yard with clumps of manure on her backside.  I know some farmers will have a real good laugh at this, but in my defense, when you are keeping an animal in the city that normally belongs on a farm, and some people are against this practice because they think chickens are dirty, filthy creatures, it’s in your best interest to keep your city chickens as clean and healthy as possibly.  Hence, the bath.

This is not the first time I’ve done this.  Although, it’s a lot easier to bathe a three-month old pullet than a full-grown hen.

Before the bath:

Before the bathTwo bins, one with soapy water and one with clean water for rinsing.  Old towels spread out on the floor.  Barricade the dogs from the kitchen.

Plunk the chicken in the soapy water. Holding her down with one hand, gently splash water over her butt feathers with the other hand.  Take the chicken out briefly and grab the dog who has somehow made his way through the barricade and put him back in the hallway.  Add a chair to the barricade.  Put the chicken back in the soapy water and continue to clean the feathers.

There are no “during” photos because I only have two hands, and they were both needed to keep the chicken in the water.

Put the chicken in the rinse bin.  Rinse off the soap from the feathers and legs.  Take the chicken out briefly and grab the dog who has once again managed to break through the barricade and is trying to lick the chicken’s head.  Put dog back in the hallway and add yet another chair to the barricade.  Dunk the chicken one more time then wrap her up in a towel.  Squeeze as much water as you can out of the feathers, then blow-dry her butt feathers on a low, cool setting as she wanders around the kitchen.

Blow drying a chickenLet her back outside to air dry.  Keep her separate from the other girls while she dries otherwise they will peck at the wet feathers and exposed skin.

Take photos of her clean, beautiful fluffy chicken butt.

Ginger's clean butt feathers

Don’t you EVER blow-dry my butt feathers again!