My 'just under a year old' Maude wasn't looking so good last night. She seemed fine at 5 when I got home from work, but at 8 when I went out to put them up for the night, I noticed that she was walking kind of gingerly. Roscoe jumped her, not unusual, and that didn't seem to bother her (human feelings--she's sick, leave her alone!). Then I noticed that her back side was messy. I wondered if maybe Roscoe 'missed' and left her gunky. It looked like from the vent on down that it was a whitish streak (it almost looked like she had a long drip of dried, white liquid streaming down). Her feathers around the area have globs of this around them, too. When she went in for the night, she stayed on the floor of the coop. I went out to check an hour later and didn't see her, but she may have gone into the nesting area and I didn't want to disturb all of them so I didn't get a light to look. Still a mess this morning, but she's out pecking, scratching, eating and drinking like normal. This wouldn't really concern me too much except that we were getting 5 eggs from 5 girls for some time and it's dropped down to only 3 for the past week (it's been very hot and humid). Not totally unexpected, but I'm also seeing soft-shelled eggs (broken) at various places (under the roost, out in the yard) and wonder if she's the one laying them. I have started giving them oatmeal soaked in dairy kefir whey to see if that will boost immunity. Anything else that I should do?
check again it could be chicken lice
Today the large white streak is gone, but all the girls have a whitish stuff on their butts but Roscoe does not. Last night none had anything at all. I'm wondering if this is not lice/mites but is residue from mating. He's not a year old and a good protector, but pretty awkward still- he'll chase one down and grab her roughly, sometimes making her lose feathers. There are 5 girls for him, but he likes 2 better than the rest (I think my 2 older girls still rule over him). Those 2 have bare spots but no raw skin (and not bare all over, just small spots). he'll dance for them, but I haven't noticed anyone yet squatting willingly for him. Once they see he's determined they''ll let him mount, but not if they can run away. I cleaned the coop thoroughly last night and got sevin dust into the cracks and crevices. Should I do more?