Buff Orpington w/ swollen, pale eye and losing feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by roosterpaul, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Hi Everyone,

    I just registered because it looks like you are all a group of very seasoned chicken owners. This is my 3rd year. The flock I have right now are all only just over a year old.

    The rest of my girls are all in good health, very happy, despite the recent heat and good layers.

    Only just over the last few weeks, one of my buff orpingtons has recently started to lose lots of feathers. I wasn't sure if it was the rooster at first. I noticed he was being particularly rough with her. But the rooster got eaten by a fox last week, and her condition continues to get worse.

    Yesterday, I noticed the skin around her eye was swollen and looked paler than the skin on the other side, and on her comb. It's not oozing anything and it's not swollen shut. Just the skin looks irritated. She's also noticably smaller than she used to be so I think she's losing weight, and she continues to lose feathers. Patches are missing now.

    As I said, all the others look good. I wonder if it's an illness or if the rest of the girls are taking over the rooster's aggressive behavior, causing her to be isolated and get less food.

    Any suggestions or help is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    Hi, roosterpaul and [​IMG] I'm sorry your first post has to be in the Emergencies section!

    It sounds to me like your hen is going through an extreme molt. When that happens, there definitely will be patches missing.

    There could always be the option that your hens are pulling her feathers out, too. Do you ever see them trying to do this? If so, adding more protein to your ration might help.

    If she is molting, her immune system might be at a low point, and she could be picking up a virus or infection. I had a hen this summer whose ears swelled up, making her head twice her normal size. No discharge, no oozing, just swollen. I gave her 4 or 5 shots of Tylan 50 intermittently, and the swelling came down.

    One option that you've probably considered is that she's coming down with a virus like Coryza or MG. If this is true, you'll be seeing bubbles in the corners of her eyes or discharge very quickly.

    You say that her skin looks paler and that she's losing weight--I'm inclined to think mites, but it sounds like you have that covered. Growing new feathers takes a *lot* of protein--perhaps she's just not getting enough nutrients considering how many feathers she's lost.

    I hope this is helpful. Good luck with her! [​IMG]
     
  3. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    I think you should also issolate her from the rest of your chickens so she doesnt *pass it on*if she hasnt already and also so she can get more rest and recuperate.
     
  4. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Thank you both! I think I'll keep an eye on her a little longer, make sure the eye doesn't bubble and up the protein in hopes that it is only extreme molting.

    I haven't seen the other chickens actually pulling her feathers out, but she seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order. I've seen them peck at her but no actual feathers have come out.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Check her over very well for lice or mites.


    They are very small and crawl very fast.


    Many times you will see laid eggs on feather shafts - mostly around the vent area, sometimes under the chin/wattles. The eggs look almost like small clumps of dried white chicken poo stuck close to their bodies - it is on the shaft of the feather, not the feathery part of the feather - so you will need to part feathers and look close down by the body.


    If you see them, dust her, the rest of your birds and your coop with Sevin 5% dust (home improvement stores carry it in the garden section) Reapply after 7 to 10 days, as the eggs hatch in about 7 days and all bird can become reinfested.


    Great article with some pictures. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf




    Ooops
    , I am sorry, [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  6. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Thank you! I will check her out for mites or lice. Is the Sevin dust safe to inhale? I was looking up this weekend and noticed some people say that dogs have died from inhaling. Not that I would have my dogs around when I'm dusting, but if inhaling is bad for dogs, is it bad for chickens as well?
     
  7. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I try not to breathe it, or to put it around the chickens nostrils/eyes/beak.


    If I need to dust the head, I put some on my fingers and rub the feathers/skin around the back of the head and under the wattles.


    How is she doing?
     
  8. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2011
    I finally got to check her out today, because I leave too early and get home too late for work during the week, and she was all clear on the mites front! Her eye also looks fine. It looks like she just has more skin/folds than the others on the one eye. I will continue to keep an eye on it though. It's not discolored anymore.

    Also, the extra protein must be working because I did notice a bunch of baby feathers growing in where she was bare!

    Thanks all for your input!
     
  9. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    I'm glad she's feeling better and free of mites! Those little things are a pain to get rid of.

    Sounds like you're on the right track [​IMG]
     

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