Looking for a chicken shampoo that can deep clean your chicken and add luster to its plumage?
Whether you simply want to remove the gunk from its feathers or you want to prepare it for a show, bathing and shampooing can help bring out the best in your chicken.
But with a myriad of options online, how can you choose the shampoo that fits your chicken’s needs?
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about poultry shampoo.
In particular, you’ll discover:
- A multi-purpose aromatic shampoo that is gentle on chicks and works on different bird species
- A fragrant chicken shampoo perfect for show birds, and
- A rooster booster shampoo that can make your bird cockfight-ready
So if you’re looking for the best shampoo for chickens and other birds, this is for you!
But first, let’s discuss why you need to use a shampoo specially formulated for poultry birds when there are a lot of other soaps out there.
Why You Need a Chicken Shampoo?
Here are the common reasons why you need a shampoo for your poultry birds like chickens.
1. To Clean Your Bird
Birds know how to clean themselves through preening, but sometimes their efforts aren’t enough, especially during the rainy season.
You may need to help them and use a chicken or hen shampoo to break down dirt more easily and clean your feathery pets more thoroughly.
2. To Fight Parasite Infestation
Fleas and ticks are common in chickens, and bathing alone isn’t enough to get rid of them.
You need to use a shampoo specially formulated to fight against them, like those containing pyrethrin or permethrin, without stripping off their natural oils.
Other chicken shampoos can even prevent flea eggs from hatching.
3. To Prevent Infection
Bathing your bird after sustaining an injury can help get rid of bacteria that may cause secondary infection.
It also helps to remove blood in their skin and feathers, which is necessary before bandaging.
4. To Avoid Excessive Feather Picking
Some poultry birds get aggressive while preening and cleaning themselves, and that can lead to feather loss and feather picking.
But by cleaning your birds with quality shampoo, you can prevent feather picking and keep your birds clean and fresh.
What to Consider When Choosing a Chicken Shampoo
Before purchasing any chicken shampoo from your go-to pet store or online shops, you need to take these factors into account to ensure you make a wise purchasing decision.
Just like dogs, chickens’ skin is sensitive.
That’s why your chosen shampoo should be hypoallergenic to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
It’d also help if your chicken shampoo nourishes and rehydrates their skin and ensures that they’re safe for your poultry birds.
2. Balanced pH
The chicken shampoo’s pH level must be balanced with the skin to prevent irritation and dryness.
3. Adds Shine
If you’re preparing your chicken for a show, it’d be great to find a shampoo that doesn’t just clean your bird’s feathers but also adds a bit of shine to their plumage.
So what shampoo is best for chickens?
3 Best Chicken Shampoos
Here are our top picks for the best chicken shampoo that you can choose from.
1. Best Overall Chicken Shampoo: Fluffy Feathers Shampoo
What we love about this shampoo is that it’s effective in removing dirt and grime from the chicken feathers, and it’s safe for chick’s use.
On top of that, this trusted and highly recommended shampoo is available in two lovely fragrant scents: lavender and peppermint.
But what can it offer, and what are the drawbacks of this poultry shampoo?
Specially formulated for poultry birds
This US-made product uses premium quality ingredients, and it’s pH-balanced.
That’s why it’s guaranteed safe for your poultry birds and doesn’t cause irritation or dryness.
Lovely herbal scents
Chickens don’t care much about scents, even though they have a highly developed sense of smell. But if you fancy using shampoos with soothing herbal scents, this is perfect for you.
This 8 oz. chicken shampoo is quite expensive, but it can last for a long time. That’s why we can assure you it’s worth the price.
2. Most Budget-Friendly Chicken Shampoo: CareFree Enzymes
If you’re conditioning your chicken and preparing it for a show, it’s best to use a shampoo specially formulated for show breeds like the Carefree Enzymes.
This natural chicken shampoo helps to remove dirt from chicken feathers without stripping their natural oil.
Gentle on birds
This gentle shampoo does the job of beautifying your birds without causing adverse effects on their delicate skin.
Chickens that have fragrances can lose some points in chicken shows, so we recommend using this fragrance-free shampoo for show preparations.
The downside is its consistency can get watery over time. So you must ensure that the CareFree Enzyme you purchased hasn’t expired.
3. Best Rooster Shampoo: HULX Rooster Booster Shampoo
So you need to level up your chicken shampoo with the one specifically designed for them, like the HULX Rooster Booster shampoo.
This booster lives up to its name as it deep cleans roosters’ plumage and skin while keeping it lustrous and vibrant.
Contains Thai herbs
The advantage of this chicken shampoo is that it offers herbs and antioxidants that nourish roosters’ skin, hair, nails, wings, and legs.
Compatible for all breeds
This rooster booster shampoo can be used in all types of rooster, regardless of the breed.
This chicken shampoo is more expensive compared to the previous ones, but when mixed with water, it can last for over 3 months.
When Should I Bathe My Chickens?
Chickens can clean themselves by preening and regular dust bathing, so you should only bathe your chickens when necessary.
For example, if your chicken is covered by poop or they get something stuck on their vent or feathers, and they can’t preen itself, they may need your help to remove those gunks.
If your bird is infested by parasites like chicken mites, bathing can also help to relieve them.
If you want to present your chicken on a show, then bathing them is a must to ensure they’re clean and show-ready.
How to Bathe Chickens
How do you clean dirty chickens? Do you bathe them with water and use shampoo and conditioner?
Well, the bathing process for humans is literally the same for chickens, but here’s a step-by-step procedure in case you need it.
But first, you need to prepare these bathing supplies for your bird:
- Bathtub or large bins (one for bathing and one for rinsing)
- Draining board
- Rubber shelf liner
- Chicken shampoo
- Large cup
- Nail brush
- Hair dryer
- Bleach for the tub, basin, or bins
If you and your chickens are ready, it’s time for a bath!
Tips on Bathing Chickens
1. First, you need to warm your water to make it comfortable for your chickens.
Since chickens are warmer than humans, the recommended bathing water temperature is around 95°F and 100°F.
2. Then set up your bath. You can add a little bit of soap in the first bin, but that’s optional. Don’t forget to put a rubber bath liner at the bottom.
3. Before dipping your bird, make sure to get rid of all large pieces of dirt hiding in their feathers or feet.
4. Then, dip your chicken gently into the basin or bin and wet down their feathers using a cup.
5. If you have a draining board, place your bird on it or on a flat surface.
Applying the Shampoo
6. The next step is to get your chicken shampoo and squirt a small amount into your hand, then apply it to their feathers. Massage it until it lathers work your way through their plumage in a motion following the feather growth.
But ensure the shampoo doesn’t get into their eyes, nostrils, and beak.
If you want to clean these sensitive areas, use a damp washcloth and a soft toothbrush under their beak.
7. After a good massage, it’s time to rinse the shampoo off and make sure that there are no traces left on their feathers because it can negatively affect their plumage when it dries.
8. If you have a chicken conditioner, apply it gently, then rinse it thoroughly with water.
Drying Your Chicken
8. Now, it’s time to take your birds out of the bin or tub and wrap them with a towel to dry them.
9. If you have a hair dryer, turn it into the lowest heat and power setting. Blow their feathers in the direction of the feather growth and work your way from the head to the vent.
If your chicken lifts its wings up, the dryer might be too hot, so you need to stop and let your chicken cool down before blowing it again.
It’s worth noting that chickens may struggle to regulate their internal body temperature when they’re wet.
So you need to ensure that they’re completely dry, especially if you are dealing with external parasites and the weather is cold.
Additional Tips When Bathing Chickens
- Most people like to bathe their chicken outdoors. But if you do, make sure it’s not too breezy or cold outside.
- If you’re bathing your chicken on a hot summer day, you can bring your bins out to warm them under the sun in the morning, and the water shall be warm enough in the early afternoon.
- You’ll likely get wet when bathing your chicken, so get an apron or a wet suit to avoid it.
- Get a good grip when holding your chicken because they may flap their wings and try to escape. They may learn to relax when they get used to bathing, though, but it will take 3 or more baths before they do.
- Keep your chicken’s head above the water to avoid drowning.
- If there are droppings you need to get rid of, better use gloves to avoid diseases.
- Never leave your chicken in a bath unattended, and don’t use vinegar or harsh soap that might strip off the natural oil from the feathers and make their skin dry and their feathers brittle.
- Avoid forcefully pulling the dried poop off their feathers because that might tear their skin.
- Sanitize your tub or basin using bleach after bathing your birds.
- All your efforts will go down the drain if you place your chicken in a dirty coop after drying them. So, clean your chicken coop, especially if it’s infested with external parasites.
- If you’re preparing for a show, don’t wash them in the morning on the day of the show. Bath them a week ahead so they have plenty of time to preen all of their natural oils back to their feathers to make them lustrous and vibrant.
- And lastly, never use horse or dog shampoo on white chickens, as they might dye their feathers.
FAQs About Chicken Shampoo
Can I use dog shampoo on my chicken?
Some chicken keepers use their dog’s shampoo on their feathery flock, but whitening shampoo for dogs and horses is not recommended on white chickens because they dye the feathers with a hint of blue or purple.
What shampoo to use on white chickens?
You can utilize chicken-friendly soap flakes, but it’s best to use shampoos specifically formulated for your poultry bird’s needs.
This way, you can avoid adverse health effects and protect your bird.
Can I wash my chicken with baby shampoo?
Some poultry keepers believe mild baby shampoo can be a good alternative to cleaning chicken feathers.
But sometimes, water and a brush with soft bristle is enough to wash a chicken. If you need a little backup, that’s when you should use chicken shampoo.
Can you use normal shampoo on chickens?
Normal shampoos used by humans aren’t safe for chickens because they may contain chemicals that are toxic for your feather friend.
That’s why you should use a shampoo specially formulated for poultry birds.
Final Thoughts on Chicken Shampoo
Chicken shampoo is a great investment, especially for show birds, but it’s also beneficial for farmers and chicken pet owners.
You surely wouldn’t like to cuddle with a chicken caked in poop, so you definitely need to bathe your chickens once in a while to deep clean them.
Our top picks, including Fluffy Feathers, CareFree Enzymes, and HULX Rooster Booster, are formulated for different chicken needs.
So you need to weigh in which best fits your birds’ needs to make sure you make the right purchasing decisions.
Have you ever tried the shampoos mentioned above? If yes, how was your experience?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.