15 hens with what appears to be black mold growing on wattles & combs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cackleberries, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. cackleberries

    cackleberries Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2008
    I have a large flock of free range Rhode Island Reds and White Rocks Hens that appear to be happy healthy critters however I have noticed little black spots on some of there combs and wattles some have been laying since Feb 08 others havent started (im guessing about 6 to 9 mo old they were bought as adults). I had 1 die about 4 weeks ago figured it was sick from all the temp. changes here in Arkansas. Now im starting to get wrinkled looking eggs that are shaped funny and some like sandpaper others with just a soft jello coating. My egg production has dropped off almost completely. I feed them 16% Egg Ration Pellets. There eating & drinking habits don't appear to have changed. There dropping are firm no signs of blood. I have SEARCHED the Net & come up with Infectious Bronchitis-Egg Layer disease. Am I right? Should I worry or am I being Parinoid. Who do I call? no vets around here treat fowl. HELP PLEASE. New to all this. Thank You
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sounds like symptoms of Infectious Bronchitis, however, when my hens are in hard molt, they often produce an egg or two that is just not the norm, soft or thin or sandpapery. When they molt is over and they are laying again, their eggs are fine. The first big molt can come about 18-20 months old or so. The black marks could be peck marks, though, from fussing with each other. Need to see a picture, to be sure.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  3. ChickLuver

    ChickLuver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2008
    Walton, New York
    [​IMG] I cant be positive but the waddle and comb thing can just be a little frostbite. The soft egg thing.....maybe lacking some protein. Try some dry cat food or some hard boiled eggs or just whites. The cold and lack of light can DEFINETLY effect egg production. Do you have a light in the coop? Is it drafty? All these things need to be considered. Do you have a pic of there waddles and/or combs??I hope this helps.....[​IMG]
  4. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    You likely have more than one issue- one minor- pecked combs and wattles, maybe fowl pox (post a closeup photo). or maybe frostbite. probably pecked combs.

    and something internal that is affecting your egg quality/quantity. Winter- most people's egg production is way off. Most chickens slow down or stop during the winter.

    IBV is not just an egg problem- what people see when it shows up is respiratory disease (usually severe) and in the survivors, funny eggs. The VIRUS can scar the reproductive tract, so deformed eggs result- this is usually permanent. Survivors are carriers I believe, if you have this confirmed the unpleasant but standard treatment is depopulate, sanitize, and start over with vaccinated birds.

    When you lost the 4, were there respiratory signs?

    If you want to know what the problem is or is not- send in an affected bird to your state lab, find your local poultry extension person to help you if you have never done this and need help.

    Some disease have long term consequences and some do not & there are many that can cause egg quality problems. Best to find out what you have at your place by a professional so you can take action if needed.

    If you do have something like IBV or Newcastles- you need to know, as do your chicken buddies so they can avoid your place. If you have something less scary like Mycoplasma (CRD), not as big a deal- as most free ranging birds have been exposed. The worrisome description you have is birds eating a good ration, but having shell-less eggs or wrinkled ones.
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Quote:In answer to your other thread's question- if you send a bird to the state lab- it needs to be freshly dead on it's own, or freshly killed. There is a sticky note at the top of this index on how to find your state vet and state lab.

    I would send in a bird or birds if I had more than one unexpected death that could not be obviously blamed on a predator attack.

    I would send in a bird or birds if I had some suspect scary disease running through my flock- I would pick a healthy looking bird, the sickest one and one that looked like it was just coming down with the bug. Mind you, I would only do this if I was seriously worried about a nasty contagious thing. The birds get packed in a cooler and sent by speedy mail to the lab if the lab is not close enough to deliver it to in person, so yes- the bird needs to be dead.

    Most problems in this area are parasitic & or predatory attack wounds, not contagious viral, so I have not sent in many birds over the years.
  6. perched

    perched Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:We have had a couple eggs that were flat on one side or sandpaper-like, but that was only when I was giving them way too many table scraps so they weren't eating enough of their complete layer feed. I stopped giving them so many snacks, and within a day or two, the eggs were fine again...and have been ever since. The thing I wanted to comment most on since I have never had experience with a chicken death or any disease or anything, is the black on the combs. I introduced a younger group of pullets into a group of hens, and prior to the introduction, they all had perfect combs and wattles. Well, there was so much pecking and aggression for two weeks...and still is if one of the younger ones gets out of line in front of one of the older ones, but that is when I started to see the black on the combs. From my experience here, it is a result of injury...even scraping on a fence or something. Hope that helps and I hope you figure everything out and everyone is healthy![​IMG]
  7. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    No way. I have exactly 15 hens too with black spots on their combs and wattles. Now i am scared. Will they be okay?

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