Are dirty feathers Just dirty feathers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by critterlover, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. critterlover

    critterlover Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have a Buff Orphington who has had some dirty tail feathers for a while now. She is only five months old and basically had them since shortly after they were first allowed outside. I have play sand in their run, but they have dug down to dirt in a few small spots. I have checked her feathers, the shaft and around her vent and it all seems very clean (no mites). I am paranoid about mites with so much talk about them.

    I use DE on a regualar basis in the coop and run since they have been outside. Since she is light in color I am guessing a few dirty feathers are more obvious. My Black Astrolorpes probably have the same thing. Does anyone else have chickens that just have dirty feathers without it being mites or any health problems??
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Dirt stains, so all my birds get dirt stained by the time spring rolls around. What's best, is that because the PNW rains so much, they stain their brand new shiny feathers as soon as they moult, which is right when the mud puddles start to form.

    They take a dust bath in dry dirt, but walk out into the rain BEFORE shaking off... so they turn into mud balls.

    Dirt doesn't mean unhealthy. Dirt happens.
  3. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    I am no expert, but some of my birds are just tidier than others. My BLRW is a mess, as are half my columbians. All the rest are ok.
  4. critterlover

    critterlover Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Happy to know it's not just my girl. I figured since she has stayed the same all summer, it was just dirt.

    I KNOW this poor chicken thought I was nuts this morning checking all her feathers aroung her backside, LOL.

    She must have been thinking 'It's just a little dirt lady so back off the private parts!' [​IMG]
  5. Peeplperson

    Peeplperson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have the same problem with my Boff Orp. I assumed it was mites/lice of some sort & dusted all 7 pullets with some meds (forget the name) 3 weeks in a row. Disinfected the coop, the whole 9 yards. Those tail feathers still have the dark spots. None of the other girls have them & I'm starting to think I over-reacted. Even so, I will NEVER tell DH since he helped me clean, catch & dust.[​IMG]
  6. sandiegochick

    sandiegochick Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2009
    So glad I'm not the only one! I have 3 BO pullets (6 months old) and their tail feathers have what looks like dirt on them as well... I, too, looked for mites/lice, but now I am thinking it's just part of their coloring. I'm new to the chicken world, so I could be wrong!
  7. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    These sound like what we had this year; it's just a coloration of the feathers. This is a fault according to the APA.
  8. jlhowland

    jlhowland Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2012
    I have two white leghorns that are dirty all over on their feathers. When their baby feathers fell out they cleaned all the time. Now-no dice. I'm afraid one got dive bombed from above by another girl's arial poo attack. Anything to be concerned of there? Seems like intense sibling rivalry to poop on one another. :)
  9. bleu chick

    bleu chick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2009
    Houston, TX
    So Glad I am not alone. Most of my girls get dirty once in a while but they get clean (not sure how).

    However - I have 2 White Leghorns that are perpetually dirty. They are 10 months old and they are just a mess. Its an all over dirt streaking. I have seriously considered bathing them.

    I have other white hens (Americaunas) and they are bright white. I think its a breed thing.
  10. rousehousecoop

    rousehousecoop Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2013
    Davidsonville, MD
    I noticed the "dirt" on my two BO pullets (14weeks). Also checked for mites/lice. Girls look clean otherwise. Any ideas what this is? Just a feather discoloration?

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