Chickens looking bedraggled?


7 Years
Oct 27, 2012
Hello all! :D

So I am relatively new to keeping chickens, I currently own 6 who live in my back garden. I have 4 bantams (Pekin, 2 Wyndotte's and an Old Engish Game Bird) and 2 full size chickens (Sussex and Warren). Recently my Pekin in particular, who is black and pictured in my avatar- love her! Anyway, she has started to look well, rough. Her feathers are a bit bedraggled looking, and her waddle and other red features have started to become paler and less vivid in colour.
Is this normal when coming into winter? Is there anything I should do?
She is eating and drinking normally, and not being bullied so I am not quite sure what the cause is.

Sorry I am new to chicken keeping, all advice is greatly appreciated!! :D
Mites! (Molting happens this time of year, too if they are around a year old or more and you would see lots of feathers around on the ground.) But I have seen this happen, just what you describe and it was mites. I never did see them on the birds...I found them biting me! I felt itchy after holding them.

If you desire to treat them, this is what I do:
Put Poultry Dust from the feed store in a tied-off sock. Turn birds (treat all of them) upside down on ground or in a box lined with plastic and hold onto legs. Powder puff under wings, abdomen, and around vent area. Then turn chicken over and dust the back and neck. Don't dust the face.

Spray coop with permethrin spray or something potent to kill mites hiding in cracks and crevices. I use poultry protector or bleach sometimes too, but do be careful with bleach!!! Bleach and ammonia fumes mixed are lethal. Chicken excretions have ammonia.

Toss all bedding out. Then when you put new down, go easy on it because you need to retreat the coop again in 7 days.

Retreat all birds in 7 days, too.

If infestation continues (and you can see bugs on them) treat every 7 days until gone.

Inspect the legs for scaly leg mite too (you will see raised scales). For that one, dip each leg every day in mineral oil or veg oil x 2 weeks to smother mites.
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