Bare bottomed barred rock and a buff orp with an issue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jrobinsonmtplus3, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. Jrobinsonmtplus3

    Jrobinsonmtplus3 Chirping

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    1. 1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) Barred rock and buff pro. Another speckeled Sussex is starting to thin near her vent too.
      2) What is the behavior, exactly. Unsure
      3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Barred rock for a month- since she started laying. Buff- maybe a week, Sussex a few days.
      4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? Yes
      5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No.
      6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Latest weather shift they were cooped up for 3 days straight.
      7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Layer crumble which was switched within the last month from Purina to nature something bought from TAC. SAME protein content, organic crumble.
      8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal
      9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Sprayed with feather pick spray when I can get them. At least 1xday. Just put a dust box in with wood ash today.
      10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Treat at home
      11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
      12) Describe the housing/bedding in use 8x8 raised coop housing 8 birds with pine bedding.
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    What's going on? I just sprayed feather pick on them as a deterrent, they are in an 8x8 coop(8 chickens total) with a 17x5 run and get to free range our fenced in yard fairly frequently.
    I thought originally the barred rock was getting her butt picked by someone on the lower perch but we elongated the top so no one is below anymore.
    I noticed someone's comb was bloody not long ago as well but treated and havent seen an issue since. They're on a layer crumble and have access to it all the time.
    Bedding in the coop and nest boxes is pine shavings.
    I noticed another girls butt is a little less feathered in too and want to make sure I can stop whatever's happening.
    I didn't see mites when I just looked. ‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️
     

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    It appears you have a feather picking problem in your flock. But the red butt really concerns me. Is the redness limited to just the bald area? Is the red skin feel hot to the touch? When I see skin that red, I fear infection of some sort. Or mites.

    Anti-picking ointments and sprays have minimal effect on determined feather pickers. You need first to identify the feather picker. There is no way to do it other than to station yourself in the run and silently observe behavior. A good time to do this is in the afternoon when chickens are relaxing and loafing around.

    The buff above is being strafed by a sharp beak while she relaxes and loafs. Watch for the perpetrator to stand over her, raking her with her beak, over and over.

    Miss Red Butt is likely getting nailed on the roost. Do you have staggered roosts where her butt is at a handy level to be molested from below? You may need to rethink your roosting arrangements if this is the case.

    From the difference in damage between the two you've posted pics of, you may have two feather pickers. One is yanking and eating the feathers, while the other is raking the feathers with her beak. The latter is usually a dominant hen beak- raking a lower ranking, submissive hen. I also have one of those in my flock.

    The ultimate solution to feather picking is to cull or rehome the villain. But the next best solution is pinless peepers installed on the picker. I have two serial feather pickers in my flock wearing them right now. They have solved the problem where nothing else has worked.
     
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  3. micstrachan

    micstrachan Crowing Premium Member

    The red butt concerns me, too. I am only in my second year of keeping chickens, but I do have experience with a feather picker. She was targeting only one flock mate. Interestingly, she was picking one of the top girls who all the pullets are afraid of. Anyway, there was a bare spot on her back for several months. She would wear a saddle and grow in her feathers just to have them plucked back out.
    Well, she recently grew her feathers back, right after I switched them over to a 22% protein grower feed. I don’t know for sure that the new feed fixed the picking problem, but it’s a pretty big coincidence. You might try a higher protein content feed and see what happens.
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Absolutely try higher protein feed. That's one of the most common causes of feather picking. Unfortunately, it doesn't resolve all feather picking since it can have many possible causes.

    That's one of the first things I tried when I had my first feather picker. I fed her tuna, and later, I switched the flock to Flock Raiser, which they are still on. I ran across a supplement that showed promise, and I started a thread on feather picking. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...cure-for-feather-picking.697052/#post-9455600 The supplement turned out not to be a miracle cure, but the thread managed to explore just about every known way to try to beat the problem. You might want to give it a read,

    In the end, my feather pickers, the hard cases, anyway, were picking because of an obsession. Their brains were hardwired for it, and nothing worked to stop it. One even managed to learn to resume picking feathers while wearing pinless peepers.
     
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  5. Jrobinsonmtplus3

    Jrobinsonmtplus3 Chirping

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    We do have staggered roots, but have elongated the top bar so all ladies can get up and stay up comfortably. I may consider removing the bottom bar entirely as well if this doesn't resolve some more. Her bottom was a bit bright as I had just sprayed it. I'll check to feel if it's warm. I don't think it has been.
    I'll order some painless peepers too since removing one isn't really what I'm wanting to do currently.

    What would mites look like? The buff had some darker "dirt" at the base of her tail feathers. Hence why I put the dust box in today.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Mites do appear as "dirt" on the feathers at the base of the vent. You need to go out to the coop after dark and look at the perches and the legs of the chickens to see if you can see mites crawling on them. Take a damp paper towel and wipe the top of the perches. If you come away with a red smear on the towel, those are mites. It could be the cause of the feather loss on the red butt.
     
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  7. Jrobinsonmtplus3

    Jrobinsonmtplus3 Chirping

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    Good treatment ideas for mites?
     

  8. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Did you determine you have mites in your coop? Permethrin or spinosad are good non-toxic organic treatments that work very well. The best form is a liquid you can mix up and spray down the entire inside of the coop, getting into all the cracks where mites reside and multiply.

    Permethrin comes in both powder and liquid, but I prefer the spinosad. I buy it under the label Elector PSP. You can get them off Amazon.
     
  9. Jrobinsonmtplus3

    Jrobinsonmtplus3 Chirping

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    No I did not determine there are mites. I want to treat proactively if I can.
     
  10. Jrobinsonmtplus3

    Jrobinsonmtplus3 Chirping

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    Ok so today I went to TSC and got this to spray the coop for mites. I also picked up some of the garden and poultry powder and will dust the girls tonight (though I'm not sure how?)
    I also picked up meal worms, sun flower seeds, nutrena feather builder supplement, and some mealworm/sunflower seed treat blocks in case it's a protein deficiency.

    I also sat and watched them this afternoon in the run for about 30 min and I think there's one pecky girl. Though I'm unsure... I'll have to try and get some video soon.
    So- with the spray, what do I do?
     

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