Unlike some wild birds that you might see splashing in puddles, chickens do not, on their own, take water baths. They prefer dust baths (see the FAQ about lice to find out why dust bathing is essential to their well-being.) But, there might come a time when you want to get your chicken clean. Perhaps you’re going to a poultry show, or taking your hen to a public appearance, or maybe you’re tired of seeing a manure-crusted butt and you want to clean it off. Whatever the reason, not only is it fairly easy to give a chicken a soap-and-water bath, but it seems to be an enjoyable experience for the bird!
A large utility sink makes the chore easy, but you can use tubs of water outside as well. There are four steps: get the hen wet, get her soapy and clean, rinse her off, and finally, dry her. During all steps take care to be gentle and calm. Don’t ruffle the outer, sleek, feathers, but keep them lying smooth. The fluffy down can be swished and handled a bit more. If your hen is especially mucky, you’ll want a few changes of water, which should be warm but not hot.
This video shows how bathing a chicken is done.