Chicken Spa for the County Fair August 18, 2013

This week is our local 4-H county fair. Although the midway and shows are fun I’ll be spending most my time with the animal exhibits.  My 9 year old daughter will be showing  her chicken, Isa,  for the fourth year. At our house, showing chickens means we create a chicken spa for the lucky pet chicken!

the chicken spa helps Isa look beautiful; my daughter needs no help looking beautiful!

My daughter with Isa at the 2012 fair













4-H has been great for my daughter and she has enjoyed working with chickens.  She has learned about chicken anatomy, showmanship skills as well as basic care of chickens.  But before you can take a chicken to the fair you have to clean it up.  So what is involved in getting a chicken ready for the fair? How do you create a chicken spa?

Isa at the chicken spa

What do you mean I need a bath?

First you have to give her a bath!  Washing a chicken: do you bathe your chickens?  Normally chickens don’t need baths; they are happy giving themselves dust baths.  But for showing, we need those feathers to be very clean.  Our chicken spa is simple: a sink of warm water, some dawn soap, a toothbrush and lots of towels!  In addition to cleaning the feathers, we use a soft toothbrush to clean her legs and toes.

After the “wash, rinse and repeat,” it is pedicure time at the chicken spa! We trim her toenails for the show, using normal nail clippers. Having two people and lots of patience helps! One person should have a good grip and one should have steady hands.

Once her nails are all nice and trim it is time to “polish” with Vaseline.  Vaseline on her legs, wattles and comb makes them supple, soft and shiny.

A day at the chicken spa

My daughter relaxing with Isa after her bath. (Wearing a bathing suit is important since you will get wet giving a chicken a bath.)

So after all this treatment it is finally time to take her to the fair.  And for those who have followed my other posts: YES, the chicken getting all this special treatment this is Isa our egg eater.  I’ll update you next week as to how she is doing with that issue.

One Comments
rebecca August 18th, 2013

I think I have an idea for your roll away issue, I have not seen any pictures but as you describe it you need to keep the egg separated from the chicken.. totally…once the egg leaves the hen and rolls away it needs to be in a place where she cant get to it. period. maybe a thin piece of lightweight card board that as the egg rolls onto it and then the card board gives way to wherever the egg goes and then the cardboard pops back up and chicken and egg are forever separated.

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