Bright red butts...what causes this??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kristenm1975, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Sitting watching my girls out the kitchen window as I took my coffee and noticed that at least two of my 17 hens has unusually red skin around their vents.

    A coyote got two of their compatriots a couple weeks ago and when I examined the pile of feathers that was all that was left of the victims, I noticed that they were thick with tiny hopping black bugs.

    Do you think the other hens have these too and that it's causing the red butt syndrome? The hens all spend a good amount of their day preening, but I didn't think anything of it. Seems like a natural behavior, along with pecking and scratching around their run, which is what they do with the other portion of their day.

    Oh, I should add two things. First, the same day the coyote got my hens, I went out and recovered their run so they couldn't fly out and become coyote snacks. Second, also that same day, I went to the feed store and picked up some DE, sprinkled any hen I could get within reach of, cleaned out their nest boxes and replaced the straw with fresh wood shavings, heavily dusted with DE.

    Input? Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Never seen it.

    I've seen roosters pic at hens hineys before... perhaps trying to make it easier to get the job done.

    I'm bumping this hoping the dlunicorn will see it tonight.
  3. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    what kind of wood shavings?
  4. TexasVet

    TexasVet Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    I had the same thing with a couple of my hens... just the black ones. Bright red, featherless butts that looked like a bad sunburn or diaper rash. Nothing got rid of it... DE, Seven Dust, medicated ointment, vaseline. It finally went away after they molted, but they had it for months and months beforehand.

    It didn't seem to cause them any pain (although it hurt me just to look at it!), didn't affect their egg laying, and none of the other chickens pecked at them. I'm still clueless .

    Kathy in Texas
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  6. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Crowing Premium Member

    Picking and mites can both bring on naked red skin. Best to catch all your hens and dust them good. Going out at night and pucking them off the roosts with only low light makes it a bit easier if they are not used to being handled. Mites need to be redusted a few times as the eggs keep hatching out.
  7. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Well so far, there isn't much feather loss at all. Maybe a few so that I could see through the thicker ones to the skin, but nothing like bald butts. So far anyway.

    I would like to have a few words with the person who designed my coop. It's not a bad one, but they made the door only about two feet wide and about 5 1/2 feet tall so its almost people size, but not quite. Makes it rather hard to get in there and medicate, which is why I've so far stuck to just dusting them when they're all gathered over a pile of cracked corn, or by dusting the hell out of their nest boxes.

    I'm new at chicken tending and have little to no experience in actual chicken handling so I have a hard time imagining how I would get the DE on the hen's butts even if they are drowsy. Hold them by their feet upside down with one hand and shake the powder with the other?

    We're having snow again here on Whidbey Island. I keep hoping those little mites or whatever they are won't like the cold and just die off already, but I suppose that's silly wishful thinking.

    Thanks for the tips, all!
  8. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    I am having the same problem. A couple of my hens have the naked, partly red butts. I have been dusting every month with either Sevin or DE as a preventative and/or treatment. When dusting them, I examine for mites or fleas and never see anything. Why would only a few of them be affected?
  9. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    In a new flock I got (14 mo. old birds) there are several with red butts from feather picking -- some pick each other, and SOME pick their own!! I sprayed 'em with Blue Kote....maybe that will help.
  10. Chickn chick 46

    Chickn chick 46 Songster

    May 22, 2009
    A few of my hens have red butt also, it seems to happen every year about this time. They are fully feathered every where else and I haven't seen and crawly things on them either.

    Seems like since egg laying commenced in the spring the homones are in high egg laying gear [​IMG] Gotta be tough to be a chicken popping an egg out every day or so [​IMG]

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