Fill the buckets with warm but not too hot water. Put
some Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) into the second bucket
(not too much, just enough to cut the soap) and if you are
washing white birds, several drops of bluing into the third.
Gently lower the bird into the first bucket (but do not
cover the head), swishing it up and down to get the
feathers wet. Put some soap into your hand and gently
brush it onto the bird, stroking in the direction of the
feathers, not against the grain.
Work the soap in, paying attention to the vent area and
the toes. Be careful with soap around the eyes, best to
just use a washcloth to wipe the head area. Use the
toothbrush to scrub the toes and legs, get all the crud off
Transfer the bird to the second bucket, swishing up and
down to get the soap off. Then put into the third bucket
for a final rinse. Wrap the bird in a towel, leaving the head
and feet sticking out. Sit with it on your lap (you will get
wet) and gently trim toes and beak (no judge likes to be
scratched.) Use the file on the beak to remove sharp
edges and refine the look. Wipe around eyes again with
Use the blow dryer with caution, not too hot!
Using the warm (not hot) setting on the blow dryer, dry
the chicken so that it is almost dry (you won't get it all the
way dry.) Place it into the crate with shavings in a warm,
non-drafty place to finish drying (this may take several
hours.) We find we can do between six to eight birds per
day effectively (run out of crates!) Once the bird is
completely dry, return it either to the cage or its clean
Before you wash your birds, you should always check
them for mites or lice, and treat appropriately. It's no fun
trying to wash a bird with mites crawling all over your
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