Are these Lice, Mites or ???

SF411chicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 3, 2013
25
1
26
I have 10 hens, ( no roosters ) 3 RIR, 3 Barred Rocks and 4 Austrolorps. They are 14 months old. For the last month my egg production has dropped drastically. This last week we get 4 eggs everyday.

One of the Austrolorp has strange feathers at the tail base, and a couple of the girls have lost feathers on the head area. I have looked for bugs, but can not see any. What could be causing these symptoms? And what treatment should I do?
I am in Colorado, and we have had massive rain, hail and mud.So there has been a problem for them to use the dust bath. I have just finished a dust bath area that has a roof, but the sand is still wet. The feather loss and egg production drop started before all this bad weather started.

They free range a few hours most days, they get fermented feed and oyster shell available. They all look happy, and are eating well. I just don't know what can be wrong with them.

Thanks!








 
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nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,878
3,584
376
Tennessee
I have 10 hens, ( no roosters ) 3 RIR, 3 Barred Rocks and 4 Austrolorps. They are 14 months old. For the last month my egg production has dropped drastically. This last week we get 4 eggs everyday. One of the Austrolorp has strange feathers at the tail base, and a couple of the girls have lost feathers on the head area. I have looked for bugs, but can not see any. What could be causing these symptoms? And what treatment should I do? I am in Colorado, and we have had massive rain, hail and mud.So there has been a problem for them to use the dust bath. I have just finished a dust bath area that has a roof, but the sand is still wet. The feather loss and egg production drop started before all this bad weather started. They free range a few hours most days, they get fermented feed and oyster shell available. They all look happy, and are eating well. I just don't know what can be wrong with them. Thanks! Looks to me like you might have a bully.
 

SF411chicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 3, 2013
25
1
26
You think another hen is causing this? I do have one hen that will mount the others. It could be her.

The only question is why the big drop in egg production? Being only 14 months old, they shouldn't be slowing down that much, especially this time of year, should they?
 

nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,878
3,584
376
Tennessee
You think another hen is causing this? I do have one hen that will mount the others. It could be her.

The only question is why the big drop in egg production? Being only 14 months old, they shouldn't be slowing down that much, especially this time of year, should they?


I can not answer as to why they have stopped laying, but to me, the chickens in the picture look like they have been plucked. Being mounted by another (hen?) would explain why their backs look the way they do. Are you sure that hen isn't a rooster? Does she lay eggs? Odd things occur. I've a mixed breed bantam that crowed when she was younger, but it stopped as the hen aged.
 

SF411chicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 3, 2013
25
1
26
They have all laid eggs, I have had many days, I get 10 eggs - at least I used to :-( Would she start crowing?

Aren't they to young at 14 months to slow down so much?

I am pretty sure it is not a predator stealing the eggs, I collect them several times a day. Have never found any broken pieces or any mess. Also, searched everywhere they free range to make sure they are not laying out there.I am always outside with them also when they are out, and it is usually in the late afternoon. Can the weather have so much effect?
 
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nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,878
3,584
376
Tennessee
They have all laid eggs, I have had many days, I get 10 eggs - at least I used to :-(   Would she start crowing?

Aren't they to young at 14 months to slow down so much? 

I am pretty sure it is not a predator stealing the eggs, I collect them several times a day. Have never found any broken pieces or any mess. Also, searched everywhere they free range to make sure they are not laying out there.I am always outside with them also when they are out, and it is usually in the late afternoon. Can the weather have so much effect?


If the weather is bad for an extended period it could cause a decrease in egg production; especially for birds that free range.
 

SF411chicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 3, 2013
25
1
26
Should I separate the bully for a few days to see if that helps? I see her every day being aggressive to the others and she is mounting them also, and grabbing them by the feathers.
If they are bullied so much would that cause them stress that they slow down on the eggs?
 

nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,878
3,584
376
Tennessee
Should I separate the bully for a few days to see if that helps? I see her every day being aggressive to the others and she is mounting them also, and grabbing them by the feathers.
If they are bullied so much would that cause them stress that they slow down on the eggs?


Frankly, I'd get rid of the bully. Her behavior is not likely to stop. Yes, it is possible that being bullied would stop them from laying.
 

emmaie892000

Songster
6 Years
Jul 4, 2013
623
29
113
Marion, NC
A hen that mounts them, wow. Yes, those look like rooster effects. It isn't horrible for the hens, but if you don't like the appearance, or if they seem unhappy (like the egg production drop) I would try to rehome the bully.
 

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