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#73200 - 09/16/05 11:39 AM Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I have a question. I have heard that there is a trick to making chickens seem whiter and giving them a "shinier" plumage. I've done a search and it turned up one article that claimed if cornstarch was rubbed on the bird that it helped make the bird whiter and glossier. Does anybody know if this will help make the birds whiter?

I already use bluing solution, and if it turns them a dark color...I dilute bleach to get the blue out. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to clean them better than this? I've done it many times, but the "experts" at shows, won't help the younger showers learn how to "whiten" the birds. Thank you for any information you have!

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#73201 - 09/16/05 12:18 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
We used to use bluing on the horses in 4-H, maybe you need to dilute it more. Or try peroxide.

There must be some thing that other types of showers use, look at the dog and cat shows, many white critters there.

Are the experts threatened by you??

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#73202 - 09/16/05 01:20 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I believe they are. The birds are in excellent condition other than looking a bit dirty. If I could get them a bit whiter or "cleaner" I'm sure that they would place higher in the show. They have already won several firsts, but for some reason, the owners of the other white birds won't share their whitening secret. Did I mention that I have tried bleach? I only use a capful of bluing solution with 2 gallon bucket. The first bird that I tried it on I poured it on him, thinking that the more I put on, the better....that didn't work, he turned out purple. As to your question about threatened...i'm not sure if they are or not...I'm just doing the best I can w/ what I have.

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#73203 - 09/16/05 01:41 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Just selfish, selfish, selfish. If they were truly secure and wanting to see the "sport" continued, they'd be more than happy to help you along. Give'm hell.

You did mention bleach, I just thought peroxide might attack a different stain. I would pick up loose feathers and just keep trying things. You have me thinking, I love to figure out things. I'm surprised the bleach doesn't bother the chickens!

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#73204 - 09/16/05 01:59 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Did a search about whitening and found something interesting. Search for "sta white" under the "poultry breeding/genetics" forum. Give them a date of 11-12-2004. Maybe your chickens aren't dirty!!

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#73205 - 09/16/05 04:11 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I thought it might have been genetics taking over except this only happens when it rains, so I believe it is dried mud that eventually evaporates to dirt after a few days. It washes off easily, it's just I would like my birds to look their absolute best when I take them to the show. It's not absolutely necessary, but I would like to know something so that I, if not anyone else, will be able to pass on the information. It makes me mad that they won't help younger generations. In fact, I just found out that the fair I'm going to be at will be part showmanship and part bird quality...yay...However, the older showers had known this since the last fair. So now, I have to learn how to do showmanship all over again...this time I found a site that has pictures though.
anyway...have you ever heard about cornstarch being used? Thanks again everybody...esp gardenchick for trying so hard!

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#73206 - 09/16/05 04:12 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I forgot to tell you...I absolutely HATE using bleach. It makes me so sick when I smell it, so I only used VERY diluted bleach when I screw up with too much bluing solution. He was a very pretty purple rooster though....hehe

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#73207 - 09/16/05 04:27 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Bill Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 591
Loc: Nevada
#1 - White birds should never be in the sun
#2 - White birds should never be on the ground
#3 - One or 2 drops of Bluing/gal of water, in the rinse water is pleanty.

If you are going to let you birds outside, make sure they are in a Shaded area. Sun tends to make them a Brassy color

If you are gong to have them on the ground, they must have a deep layer of shavings to keep them out of the dirt. After they are washed for show, it is best to keep white birds in pens with a deep layer of shavings & then clean the pens every day to keep poop from coloring their feathers.

How do you wash them???
_________________________
Bill
http://www.geocities.com/wcmcgee@prodigy.net/photopagetan.html

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#73208 - 09/16/05 05:02 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Bill, whats the name of the iris(on your web page) with the red standards and purple centerd falls?

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#73209 - 09/16/05 05:30 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree with Bill, my daughter shows a white silkie pullet. She is never in the sun and is always in a conditioning cage, never meeting dirt of any kind. Doing this has kept her immaculate. At washing we use baby shampoo in the wash water and the rinse water has vinegar, it rinses them cleaner and breaks down suds. He is right about the bluing one or two drops is plenty. One day before shows we mix vet rx with water and spray them down and wipe excess with a cloth. It leaves a great sheen but allows plenty of time before the show for the smell to go away.

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#73210 - 09/16/05 06:32 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Deb AZ Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 452
Loc: Arizona
Just to add to Bill's advice, that and using the bluing shampoo correctly is the secret amongst us exhibitors. Don't feel bad one of the top white rock exhibitors in the country turned his rocks blue, wasn't a bad shade really.

Main thing about many white fowl is they seem to show signs of old feathers faster or easier than other varieties. and I would never advise using bleach you will only dry out the feather making seem aged even more or possibly breakage may occur.

Some swear by a bar of ivory soap and some even use the old snow flake soap (though not sure where they get it).

One of the tricks I do is to pre-rince before bathing with some warm water and glycerin to add some moisture to help loosen dirt and to prevent the harshness of soap from adding to any feahter damage.

But in viewing all those amazing white fowl keep in the back of your mind not only are they sheltered from the harsh elements but they are selectivly bred.


Deb

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#73211 - 09/16/05 08:49 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
the way that I USED to wash my birds was by filling one of those rubbermaid trunks with lukewarm water, adding some dawn dishwashing soap, swash it around and dunk the birds in it. After this, I would rinse the feathers off with a garden hose or a rinse bucket...whichever was easier on the bird. After he had his feathers cleaned, I would wash with some bluing solution to help him look better. Since the shows are during the early, early fall in OK...when it is still 90 degrees, I would put them in a rabbit hutch with air circulating constantly. Underneath, sides...everything but the top. The bottom consisted of wiring (which I had already cleaned). I would leave them there overnight and they would be dry by morning. However, this was on RIR and Brahma's. The Brahma's had excellent results, but with the RIR, I could never tell.

I've learned my lesson with a 3 year old White Giant cock. He was left out in the sun with sussex, barred rocks, brahma's, etc. So, he is thoroughly yellowed and has since been retired from showing. These birds are in a shaded area underneath an acorn tree. Actually, part of their coop is supported by it. However, I will probably put tarps over the pen in the winter to keep the sun from coming through the branches. Thank you so much for all the tips guys! I realize that I am a newcomer to big time showing, but it is great to have all of your help! I wish there were more people like you at my shows!

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#73212 - 09/18/05 08:30 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I would just like everyone to know that I did very well with my birds at the County Fair, but disagree with the rulings of the judge. The judge disqualified my birds because he said, "they have not been properly handled for showing" when he reached into the cage to handle the birds. He then disqualified them stating that the birds were "dirty and had black feathers." ( I had just been notified about the show an hour before it started! Stupid club leader...) So, I decided to do it for the birds to get experience. I would firstly like to say, that one of my birds had "grayish" feathers on her back. Otherwise, they were only unbathed. However...
The girl that was showing White Jersey Giant pullets in the pens next to mine, had their birds legs tied for the judge to catch them. AND the birds had yellow legs. ???? What? Isn't that a disqualification? Next, as I rant about how 4 of my birds were disqualified and her birds placed under my best pullet...while hers had yellow legs...a black Australorp pullet had white wing feathers, while a Black Minorca hen had two combs. Is there a place I can contact to write a complaint about the judging that took place. I admit totally that my a few of my birds could have been disqualified because they were "dirty and had black feathers", but shouldn't the rule stand for all of us? If feathers colors are wrong on a bird, and the leg coloring is wrong, and the comb, shouldn't there have been worst placements than disqualification. I'm very sorry that this is so long, but I believe it was unfair for the other kids that were trying to learn about showing and now believe they have good birds. Thank you for your time and any helpful comments about complaints to any judging board are greatly appreciated!

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#73213 - 09/19/05 08:17 AM Re: Making them whiter?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Good for you! Stick to your guns. At a horse show years ago my horse went through the trail course with out a glitch. Another horse refused the plastic, knocked down a barrel, and totally leaped over the tires and they were awarded the trophy I should have gotten. My mom went to the judge and complained and the judge said that the other horse "had great potential" Mine was just a little POA and the other was some exotic thing. SOME judges are just predjudicial, you can't let that stop you. You sound like your willing to learn, and determined. Keep up the good work!!

On another note, I bet bathing a chicken is a little like bathing a cat?!?!? OUCH! Also interesting that the suns turns white brassy.

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#73214 - 09/20/05 07:27 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Deb AZ Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 452
Loc: Arizona
Well I have been exhibitng for almost 16 years so if I may address some issues for you, and maybe I can help you for the future shows.

White fowl must be white, no evidence of any other feather color, but on occasion depending upon the line you may find a periodic black feather and if not removed before showing it can lead to a disqualification. There must be no evidence of a forigen color.

The condition of a fowl must be very severe for a judge to DQ, this could range from total absence of feathers to possibly mite infestation. Remember everything is points, broken or missing feathers due to condition or molt would reduce points. Condition of fowl is one of the essential criterias for any judge, you can have the best in type but if the condition is bad it will and should not take best of Breed. In some ways exhbiting a fowl not in "condition" gives opportunity for a fowl not truly representing the breed the opportunity to be the example.

Unfortunatly it is at the judges descression in regards to handling fowl. Most GOOD judges do what it takes to contain and handle the fowl for inspection. Others unfortunatly use the descression in a negative way expecting all fowl to be docile. but as an exhibitior it is your responciblity to present a managed fowl, one that poses no threat to you or a judge. This is where cage training and preparing a fowl for show comes in on your part. It is at the judges descression and as an exhbitor these are decesion that we may face. Let me give you an example, class win achieved, on to champ rosecomb but fowls feet are dirty. This is a critique moment and everything must be perfect or as perfect as can be. Fowl looses to Rosecomb. Sad and unfortunate but a lesson to be learned. Will never happen again.

Yes, wrong leg color should be an automatic DQ.

As far as lodging a complaint if it was a sanctioned show, at the time you could have paid 25$ to lodge an automatic complaint and have the decesion reviewed. Now the best course of action is to take this as a lesson and be prepared for the next show. We all have type of issues such as these arise as exhbitors we take these set backs or lessons and make it harder to find fault the next time.

Deb

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#73215 - 09/20/05 08:29 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I understand exactly what you are talking about DebAZ, it's just I wish he would have judged all the birds the same. However, now that the birds have gotten one show under their belts, they are ALOT more docile then they used to be. I believe the rough handling that the judge used was the trick to get them to be more tame when I'M handling them. They all pose PERFECTLY now! lol...Welp..I got them the experience I knew they needed, and that's all that counts!

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#73216 - 09/24/05 07:04 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Snowbird Offline
Bantam

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 46
Loc: Texas
Back to the whitening. I don't show birds but my kids used to show sheep. Woolite done a great job of whitening. Yess, I know, wool not feathers but some day you have nothing better to do, give it a try.

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#73217 - 09/25/05 02:41 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I have officially found the perfect mix for my chickens. I was so afraid that it would damage the feathers of my show birds that I tried it on a mix breed that I had.

I put hot water into a bucket, poured half a packet of RIT whitener and brightener ( it didn't change the feather color...at all..I tried it on a black bird first) With the RIT, I added Dawn moisturizing dishwashing soap, and bluing solution. It looked absolutely disgusting. I waited for it to cool down until I could comfortably put my hand in the water for 3 minutes. I put my light brahma/wyandotte mix into the solution and scrubbed with fingernail brushes. I would scrub the feathers together under the nail brushes and going with the grain of the feather. I looked this morning and the yellow was completely gone off of her! I was so happy!!! I did this process to my White Giants, and I'm telling you, the birds at the Fair don't have a chance at being whiter!!! Thank you all for your ideas! And don't worry, none of the feathers were damaged, broken, or bent. I checked the length of every one of their bodies! Thank you all again!

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#73218 - 09/28/05 03:35 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
O.k...I'm about to attempt my new washing discovery this Friday in Tulsa, OK. Wish me luck guys and I'll post in the Miscellaneous forum about how they did!!! Thank you all for your suggestions!!!

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