Cochin with Skin/Feather problem on top of foot- please help.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chick Godmother, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Chick Godmother

    Chick Godmother Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
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    Please help.

    Our LF Blue Cochin Hen is having a bit of a problem with the top of her foot.
    [​IMG]

    Can anyone help us identify what exactly is going on here? It doesn't seem to bother her right now but I have noticed her "waving" that foot (like a small child waving hi in an up and down motion) previously. It is only on the one foot, her skin seems different looking in that spot. (she does not seem to have anything else going on in any other areas on her body and she is eating and laying) We have 5 other hens (one other is another LF Cochin) and none of them seem to have anything skin/foot/feather going on. We have blue kote, should we apply it? Please help us identify what is going on and if we should be worried. Thank you in advance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I wonder if she has scaly leg mites. You can take some petroleum jelly, mix in some poultry dust, and apply that to her foot ever day, morning, after work, and at bedtime. The petroleum jelly will help suffocate the mites, and the poultry dust will help kill them.

    Now, I'm not 100% positive, but doing this won't hurt her. I do think she looks very scaly. That's why I think it could be those scaly leg mites.
     
  3. Chick Godmother

    Chick Godmother Out Of The Brooder

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    *New Problems* Thank you for your advice it is now showing in both feet. We did the Vaseline and poultry dust application. However, when we put her back in, everything was fine at first, then after a while, the others were on her eating and pecking at her feet (even though we mixed it up good and rubbed it in well so it wouldn't look like something on her feet to eat). Before I could get in to rescue her, the others had pecked both feet to bleeding and one had her by the comb and was yanking her head around (no damage there though). I will say that there was not any sand / dirt stuck to her feet, so they were not eating off any thing stuck to the Vaseline, as there was not anything stuck to it. It was SO terribly upsetting! [​IMG]Poor little thing. Since then we have had her separated from the others. Any thoughts on what might have happened here? What should I do?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Hello there! I have cochins too. Sometimes there are complications to rearing these feather-footed breeds!

    What it looks like to me is that she has molted some of her foot-feathers, and new pinfeathers are coming back in. Or, if she is a pullet hatched this year, her feathers are still just growing in fully on her feet. Sometimes, they also break the feathers on their feet while foraging, and so now and then a new pinfeather will grow in.

    If you are unfamiliar with pinfeathers, they are supplied by blood while the feather grows within the shaft. As the feather matures, the blood recedes and the shaft crumbles open and the feather comes out. The tip of the feather is always ready before the base, and so the bottom of the feather can still have blood while the tip is fluffy and emerged as it grows out.

    The photo above shows these pinfeathers coming in at different stages. One is newly erupted, while a few on the right are still working on growing in. The weird nubs in the middle are follicles where the feather has either been broken off accidentally, or... eaten off.

    If you have a mixed flock with your cochin, and especially if most of them are not feather-footed breeds, sometimes these other birds learn that the cochins "shouldn't" have feathers there and will "help" by eating them off. They may also pick on her because she is low on the flock totem pole, or sadly chickens can easily learn that blood feathers taste good. Chickens are omnivores and a meal of a blood feather (or many) is very nutritious, especially if their diet is somehow lacking. Even when they have a complete diet, some birds just learn that it tastes good and will constantly harass any bird with blood/pinfeathers visible!! I have one hen that my chickens will do this to as well. When she molts I have to put a little chicken jacket on her until her feathers grow in, esle the others will eat them.

    It sounds like your poor cochin hen is really being bullied. There are many solutions to this if you search for threads on bulling or pecking. Consistently bullied hens tend to do more poorly than they should as it is a constant stress on them, plus it sounds like they are doing her real harm!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Chick Godmother

    Chick Godmother Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Maryland
    Nambroth - Thank you for your advice. It is good to hear that this might just be a regular cochin thing with the bald feet. Before I had gotten your reply, I had made an appointment with a local vet that has a chicken specialist, to have Hasty Puddin' (my Cochin's name) go in. (the appointment is today at 1:00pm) I think I will still go, just incase, and half to check out this vet to see if I would like to use them in the future.

    Hasty Puddin' is 25 weeks old and was hatched this March, so she is still rather young so like you said, it might just be her feathers coming in and getting "adjusted". I wish I knew for sure if the girls had been picking on her feet before the day of the "attack". It is so terribly upsetting to see such a darling sweet natured hen getting bullied like she was. I am so worried that I may have to end up seperating the flock and finding one hen to live with her in a "in-law" appartment alongside the big coop and run... I may be getting ahead of myself though... and I suppose I should read up on stopping bullying first... I just feel so bad about the whole thing and I really hope that I am able to get things safe for her so that she does not get attacked again.
     
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Oh, I'm so sory that happened! I have feather footed chickens too (Brahmas), and I haven't seen their feet looking like that. I hope she gets better for you,and it's just a normal thing like the other member mentioned! So sorry my idea didn't work for you.
     
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  7. Chick Godmother

    Chick Godmother Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Maryland
    Please, do not worry. The vaseline idea was a very good one. and I thank you so so much for giving me the tips.

    So an update - The vet (who specializes in chickens) did a skin scraping and said that she did not have scaly leg mites and gave us some calming cream for the bald part of her feet. She also gave us some natural remedy ideas and homeopathic remedies to assist not only Hasty but the others as well with the bullying. She said that we were taking good care of them and were giving them everything that they needed but recommended us to give them two locations for food and two locations for water so Hasty and the other lower ranking hen can eat away from our bossy leader and she is helping us re-intergrate Hasty back in with the other ladies. I am optomistic that with both of your advice, the advice of the doctor, the homeopathic remedies and the articles that I have read here on bullying will help me through this process. Thank you both for your help.
     

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