Bald and red on her underside

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SavageDestiny, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. SavageDestiny

    SavageDestiny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Bend, OR
    I just got 4 ladies, my first chickens, on Saturday evening. I got home with them after dark and put them straight in their coop to have overnight to adjust. They all came from the same flock. Sunday morning when I let them out I checked each one over and noticed that the Black Sex Link, Berta, had some feathers missing on her underside and was red on her skin. Some feathers were matted down as well. I asked my friend, who I got them from, about it and sent a pic, and she said not to worry too much, it would probably clear up.

    I have been spraying Vetericyn on it daily, but this morning I thought it looked worse so I flipped her over to check. It seems like the redness has spread and more feathers are missing. It is not weepy, doesn't look scratched or scabby. The redness extends pretty much to her vent, even where there are feathers. She seems kinda poopy down there too but she's been that way since I got her so I didn't think too much of it.

    Now I'm panicky and I just want to make Berta feel better! She is eating, active, and bossing the other chickens around. She's not flighty or nervous. The girls are all eating fermented feed, get ACV in their water, and are on probiotics for the transition period. Thoughts?

    Sunday morning
    [​IMG]

    Today- keep in mind that it was NOT this red before I sprayed the Vetericyn- the medicine makes the blood rush to the area and
    reddens the skin.
    [​IMG]

    Her butt
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Darceyhs

    Darceyhs Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2014
    Is she old enough to lay and also is she sitting on the nest, if she is she may be broody or clucky. Which means that she wants to raise chicks, they do this to keep the eggs warmer. Maybe but she has to be sitting on the nest more often than normal.
     
  3. SavageDestiny

    SavageDestiny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is old enough to lay- 10 months- and was at her old house. She hasn't quite started up again yet but she's only been here a few days. I'm not sure it's broodiness, the bald spots are pretty far down and narrow, not wide. The red skin concerns me too.

    I showed the pics to my friend I got the girls from, and she thinks it's irritation from lying in poop. I found her lying in a poop on the ramp on Saturday and all the girls have been sleeping in the nest boxes instead of the roost.

    So I gave her a bath and worked out all the poop that was matting the feathers together and cleaned up her poopy butt. Her skin looked better pretty much immediately:
    [​IMG]

    That was post bath before I blow dried her. Her head is to the top of the pic.

    I removed the ramp so she can't sleep there (they don't even really need it) and I'm planning on blocking off the nest boxes when I put them in the coop for the night. Hopefully she'll start sleeping on the roost and not just sleep on the floor!
     
  4. SavageDestiny

    SavageDestiny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone have any other thoughts? The bald area is definitely improving with the Vetericyn sprays, but lower down where the feathers are thick she is still red.
     
  5. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Could it be mites or lice? I don't know the specifics on what those symptoms are or how to diagnose it, but when I read the thread title, it's what I first thought.
     
  6. SavageDestiny

    SavageDestiny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have looked and looked and can find nothing. I've looked on the other chickens too. I looked quite thoroughly when I bathed Berta too and didn't see any sign of bugs trying to make it to dry ground. I am a dog groomer so I'm pretty good at finding creepy crawlies on thick fur or in this case feathers.

    The flock they came from is bug free too. The coop has never been used and I sprayed it with vinegar and sprinkled DE throughout the coop and run before I brought the girls home. I suppose bugs are still possible, but it doesn't seem likely that with all that I'd have mites in days of having chickens on the property.
     
  7. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    They can get mites from wild bird populations contaminating your area. You wouldn't be able to see mites as they are too small. Also, stress from the move can make a previously manageable population of mites become an infestation, actually bothering the chicken. I would treat with ivermectin, if it were my birds. You can buy it at a farm supply store and apply it topically to the birds.
    I can't quote you the dosage, but there are threads on BYC with that information.
    The veterycin spray is a diluted bleach solution. Someone here told me that red skin means mites or lice and if my birds didn't have red skin, hey were probably not having that problem. And the plucking of feathers also makes me lean this way (at least if my memory serves!)
    Hope you figure out what it is! If you do decide to take the ivermectin route, be sure k treat all of he birds. It's possible for the other birds not to show symptoms of an infestation if their stress mechanism isn't as sensitive as hers is.
    Have you checked over all your girls really well?
    Did it look like there was any injury to the area or it was just swollen and inflamed? (Sorry if you've already been over this, it's late here and I'm on my way to bed, been a long day!)
     
  8. SavageDestiny

    SavageDestiny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I won't use Ivermectin. That stuff is downright toxic. It's killed many dogs and there is no way I'm giving it to any of my animals. I've never believed in using poison around my animals.

    My run area is covered in bird netting, would it still be possible for them to get mites from wild birds? I've checked all the girls and nobody is having problems but Berta, who is the one that keeps sleeping on the floor of the coop instead of roosting. There doesn't appear to be any injury, the skin is just red. Not even really inflamed or swollen, just red. I have not actually seen her plucking feathers whatsoever, the area was bald the first morning I had her. The bald areas do seem to be improving with the Vetericyn, but the feathered areas are still red.
     
  9. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Dogs are particularly sensitive to ivermectin. Just like cats are particularly sensitive to all permethrins (similar compound to that found in marigolds) but just a VERY tiny amount can kill a cat. These are another choice to combat these arachnid pests. I would avoid the permethrin dusts as they can cause respiratory issues with the chickens.

    Different animals process different chemicals different ways. Some things are toxic and dangerous to some species, while completely safe for others. The danger to dogs is when an overdose is dispensed or when given to particularly sensitive breeds where the medication can cross the blood/brain barrier (shelties, collies, Australian shepherds and those types of herding dogs).
    Applying two or three drops of ivermectin on the skin of each hen is much safer in my opinion than the dust alternatives. It would be very difficult to overdose a chicken with ivermectin, you would have to TRY to do so, which I know you yourself would never do.
    The Ivermectin will also have a dual purpose, it will worm your chickens.

    Do you take tylenol? (Acetaminophen in the US; Paracetamol in the UK) More people (both adults and children) overdose from a simple pain reliever every year than dogs that die of ivermectin overdose. In fact, the only way that is used by the veterinary profession (where I live) to treat heartworm disease, is to give the dog injections directly into the muscles along the spine of ivermectin. Many heartworm preventatives' active ingredient is a rather low dose of oral ivermectin. This is prescribed monthly by veterinarians. (I have a different belief on the matter, as I don't believe I should be putting that much junk in my dogs on such a short interval, but I'm not a vet and take my own risks with that, having the information available to me that I have.)

    Could you try to give her a diluted (it could burn if the skin is sore, so be sure to dilute it) white vinegar bath to get under her feathers where it's still red? You can blow her dry so she doesn't catch a chill. Can you get the spray down to her skin under her feathers?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Oh, I also wanted to add that the vetericyn you are using is just diluted chlorine bleach solution. Bleach at full strength could seriously harm or kill your chicken coming into direct contact with her skin, but you have chosen to use that. It is the same idea behind the ivermectin. Almost anything in excess can be bad, even drinking too much water.
    I don't mean to disagree with you, I just hope you can understand what I see from my perspective. We all just want your little hen to feel better. I imagine she's feeling pretty crumby by the looks of it!
     

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