combs and feathers around combs turning black on hens

ole red

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
poplar grove, ar.
title pretty much sums it up,,, looks like it may be peeling also.

anybody know what this is, and what to do about it?

one oldtimer around here says he has seen it before, he said to rub burnt oil on thier head,,,, but most of them guys say that about everything.
may have to try it though, or squirt w-d 40 on em.
I think I know the reasoning behind the rubbing burnt oil on the birds, but please don't do that quite yet.

IS the black on the outside of the combs, and the feathers, as if it were mildew? Check the rest of the bird(s) carefully. Is there a similar black around the vent? Is the black waxy, or powdery?

If you open the bird's mouth, are there any patches on the inside of its mouth and throat? Is there a bad smell?

Can you tell us more about their environment, whether or not you've had a lot of rain, what bedding they have, whether or not they're kept in a pen, etc? The bird's ages, breeds, and what you're feeding them exactly?

Can you please tell us the consistency and color of their droppings?

These are all important questions and to form a more clear picture of what this might be, we'll need all of them answered, please. Thanks!

p.s. A picture, close up, would be great.
p. p.s. By the way, when picking them up, please examine them thoroughly to rule out weight loss, parasites, mites, lumps, the black (or white) anywhere else on their bodies, etc.
yes the black is on the outside as if it were mildew.

have not checked around vent ,but will tonite.

inviroment: we have had ALOT of rain this spring (more than normal),
they roost in a dry chicken house,

i have 10% sevin dusted it and chickens twice this year as a prevenative to keep mites back.

we had knats really teribable, they have just went away recently.

i feed chops and a lot of rice.

they are game chickens.

lordy, all them questions, makes it sound like it could be something terrible.
Please use the SEARCH and type in POX and search the emergency forum for threads on that 9there are a lot incl pics) as with your comment on the weather and gnats I beleive that may be your problem.
definately looks like what i have, thanks for the info.

well crap, have had chickens 40 years and this is the first time i've seen this.

any idea on the outcome if i just let it run its course?
There is a lot of helpful information in those threads...
there really isnt much more you can do (as far as meds) except "let it run its course" (as this is the first time you have had it then your area is not endemic which often recquires vaccination)
However you must separate the ill birds from the healthy ones as soon as you notice them being off... they must have their own feeders and waterers as it can spread through this route (as well as dander) .... dab the lesions with iodine or betadine and keep all spotlessly clean to discourage flies and more mosquitoes and gnats etc.
Check your property/area for the source of the mosquitoes (this is how they are usually spread) and treat that if you can... will be a water source like a lake pond or such.
But would pox be on the actual feathers? It's the feather thing that makes me wonder.

I had seen something like this one, and darned I can't remember where.

Boost their immunities for sure - that would cover pox. If it's actually on the feathers themselves, like mildew there, then it's something fungal and/or yeast which means the insides of the birds are also immune compromised - which they would be in pox as well.

If it's on the feathers themselves, will you let us know?

And sorry about the 293487234 questions.
that's the way I rule out things since we're not there where we can pick up the bird and look at him, look around. Environment often plays a lot of part in the bird. That's whY I can't rule out something fungal yet, particularly since you've mentioned a lot of rain.
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aw , i was just jokeing about the questions, i really am grateful and appreciate the help and replys,

i'm haveing password probs. w/photobucket, my wife is going to see if she can git that took care of rite after i post this, if so i'll post some pics. for yall to see.

as far as is it actually on the feathers, on 1 hen it appears to be on the feathers, and one hen appears to be about bald, and very pale.

again if i can git this photobucket straightened out, i'll post pics.

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