Could this be mites? (Pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aimeeinwv, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hens will be 1 yr old in May - I thought that my be a little to early to molt.

    This back issue started with one SLW - she started losing feathers. I thought she was being pecked on and made arrangements to get Hen aprons. Then 2 other SLW started losing feathers, and now a Pr. Red.

    So, I am wondering, can this be mites? We have a dust bath for them, but they prefer a dirt spot under my husbands work shed... it's been rainging and snowing blue blazes here so not many places for them to find dry dirt or sand. Diets are wonderful, fresh veggies daily, oatmeal, scratch plus Layena.

    Egg production is still at 1 egg a day per hen. Other than going bald on the back.. I can't see anything else wrong. (other than they are muddy.. YUCK!) Hen house is clean, but the yard... uh, that's another story. MUD everywhere. They are able to free range when it's not raining - if the rain and snow ever quits!. [​IMG]

    We have a Roo - but this seems to be spreading rather than just starting, we just noticed it starting about 2 weeks ago. Sorry these pics are a bit blurry, hard to catch a chicken that's found scratch!!!

    Any ideas? Thanks!!!

    ps: Excuse the yellow scratch on the backs.. they like to get in the way when I throw it! LOL

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  2. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    Maybe your two roosters are doing it. I think mites like the neck better. Moulting is loosining up the feathers and the roos are pulling them off. Yes hen aprons should fix that up :)!
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Looks like your rooster is getting a lot of action these days! That could also be combining with a mini-molt to make them look especially ragged. I would pick them up and get a good look at them. If they are molting, you will see the new feathers starting to come in like little porcupine quills. You will also see see feathers under the roost. Unless your rooster is really sneaky, you should be able to catch him at work and figure out if he's going after the most affected ones. If so--you will either have to make them some saddles (you can find patterns on here), or pen him separately to give them a break.

    I have had a lot of luck with wood chip in my run, to cut down on the mud. If it is really bad you could put down some pallets so they have a dry place. It's hard when they can't free-range!

    Here's some info on saddles--
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=83630
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  4. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Mine are looking like that. I have no rooster. I assumed moult, and some have new feathers coming and some do not...I did not think mites.
    Time for a closer look.
    Thank you for posting those pictures!
     
  5. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you! We did put some wood chips in, they LOVE that stuff! Kicked it all over! LOL I'll do a closeup inspection. I am thinking Mr. Roo needs to go anyway. He's getting a bit too aggressive. Hate to see him go though, he's such a great protector of the girls. No dogs come in this yard anymore! I'll be making some hen aprons in the mean time [​IMG]
     
  6. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    I'd also go for rooster!

    My girls had Mites and it was all over their heads, around the comb, etc. that was loosing feathers. I still have one hen we affectionately call "Baldy hen" because she's been bald forever now. She hasn't moulted yet so I think the mites did a number on her combined with overall poor feather quality.
     
  7. Egg_newton

    Egg_newton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2009
    East Central Indiana
    Yep, I'd say it's the rooster doing it. I had two EE that looked the same way. Well one was from the roo the other was from a dog attack (all she got were the feathers WHEW) I saddled them both and after molting they are back to beautifully feathered ladies. Also, you may start to notice bald spots on the tops of their wings. So, you may want to get the saddles with wing protectors.
    There is a lady on here that sells them super cheap.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  8. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok - Rooster may get to be Sunday supper! (just jokin!) My aunt next door is a seamstress, we're gonna trade out eggs for aprons. She's making them out of a wonderful stretchy yet sturdy denim. I'll have to get them done right away! In the meantime, Mr Roo Roo is going to be finding himself in the shed! Thanks so much everyone!

    Keep those ideas and advice coming!!!!!
     

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