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How to Wash and Dry Your Chicken

There isn’t usually a need to wash a chicken unless you are showing a chicken. You may feel that you want to get your white chicken back to a nice shiny white or give your hens some TLC. Whatever your reason for giving a bath you should make sure you do it the correct way to avoid stressing your chicken out.

Three beautiful clean chickens drying off after a good wash
Three beautiful clean chickens drying off after a good wash

If done with care your chicken may end up enjoying the experience. Read on to find out the best way to get a squeaky clean chicken. Using a sink is the best and easiest way to wash a chicken.

  1. Fill the sink with warm water and place your chicken in the water for a couple of minutes. Take the chicken out and place on a flat surface such as the draining board if you have one. You can use baby shampoo and a toothbrush to gently scrub your chickens legs and feet, Try to gently remove and dirt.

  2. Return your chicken to the sink and using a jug pour water over the chicken's body. It may take a while to fully wet your chicken as they have some waterproofing on their feathers.

  3. Work up a lather on the feathers with baby shampoo or a special poultry shampoo. Be careful and ensure you have washed everywhere on your chicken. Take care when washing the head to not got soap in your chickens eyes.

  4. Rinse the soap off your chicken. Ensure that there are no traces of soap left as this may affect the condition of the feather when your chicken is dry.

  5. Take your chicken out of the sink and wrap it in a towel.

  6. Using a cotton bud wipe around the beak and nostril to get rid of any dirt or dust.

  7. Pat dry your chicken.

  8. You can use a hair dryer to dry your chicken. If you choose this method you should have the lowest heat setting and lowest power setting. Blow the feather in the direction they grow working from the head down to the vent. Work your fingers through the feathers to aid drying. If your chicken lifts its wings it may be too hot so stop for a while letting your chicken cool down and then begin again.

  9. You can dry your chicken by putting them in a box with a heat lamp or placing them by a fire (this is difficult unless you have trained your chicken to sit still). Generally a warm room is best way to dry a chicken quickly.

Top Tips: Never leave your chicken unattended in water. Don’t place a wet bird in a cold environment. If your chicken is panicking stop washing her and try again when she has calmed down.

Customer Images

Drying chickens with hair dryer
Drying the chickens out...
Drying chicken post bath
Bathing chicken post prolapse
At the shower
At the shower
No worries about using the hair dryer
He seems to like it
Thank you Omlet for your advice, shower hen.
Susan after her bath


Kari, 13 July 2021

My chickens got into poison ivy. Didn't hurt them one bit. It's probably in their fathers and on their feet. Now I have it in many places from handling them. HOW do you wash the urushiol off of them so that I can once again pick them up? Is TECNU outdoor skin cleaner an option? Dawn? Anyone else has to deal with this?

Isabel, 16 June 2021

hi i have a white silkie and I was wondering what shampoo should I use on her.

Photo, 16 March 2021

Very Impressive blog!! I loved your blog commenting mistakes related article.. i am gonna share you on my social media audience.

Henny, 25 October 2019

It’s very useful and seen as though my light Sussex hen who’s just gotten over being broody is at the bottom of the pecking order, all the others are ganging up on her and she has scabs all over her wattle and comb. We’ve been applying petroleum jelly and salt water and the scabs are improving, she’s now back to laying eggs. But she is so dirty, her head is black and a is her body, the sand here is so dry in WA so it sticks to her so well, and won’t come out. But this bathing technique was so useful and I’m so glad you made this site. She’s all white again and at the top of the pecking order seen as thought she’s bigger than all the silver laced Wyandotte’s golden, laced Wyandotte’s and rode island reds. I can hear her squawking right now waiting for her morning feed. Can’t wait for more updates possibly even ones to help with chickens being hurt/cut.

Aaron, 11 July 2019

Very effective