Delaware Hen Shaking Head More Than Usual

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Turbinado, Jun 15, 2017.

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  1. Turbinado

    Turbinado Just Hatched

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    New backyard chicken owner here, re-homed these beauties in early March as babies and have loved every minute of them. This week, I noticed one of the girls shaking her head more than usual. Of course, I've trolled so many forums, but feel like I'm chasing ailments that my girl isn't really experiencing (sour crop, something stuck in her hear, mites, lice, etc...). So here I am, posting my first post on this website in hopes that you can help me diagnose and treat her. See attached video. Daisy is the white Delaware (shown here with her coop mate hens "Goldie" and "Dukes"). She shakes her head like this unless she's distracted. Eating normally, drinking normally, clean coop, normal poop, normal other chicken behaviors. I've checked her throat - looks normal, no worms or anything. I've done some looking for lice or mites, but don't see anything. The other chickens don't seem to be doing the same. I'm thinking early signs of possibly mites, but I'm just not sure.

    TIA for your assistance!

     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    To me it looks like an external irritant. You could dust her with a pyrethrin based poultry dust just in case it is mites, otherwise I didn't see any flies or mosquitoes about her head but that's another option. I would get a hold of her and give her head a good going over to check for bites or mites or ticks.
     
  3. Turbinado

    Turbinado Just Hatched

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    Thank you, I've looked over her a couple times around her head/neck area (moved the feathers aside, looked in her ears) and haven't seen any obvious irritants. Admittedly, I probably need to do a more thorough looking. No flies or mosquitoes (the others aren't displaying the same behavior).

    I did pick up the synthetic pyrethrin (Permethrin II) in a concentrate along with a spray bottle, but I really don't want to use it unless I can positively ID mites or ticks.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Could also be that something is stuck in her throat. I guess I wouldn't worry unless it gets worse. She doesn't necessarily look uncomfortable, just bothered.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I doubt there's anything pathological going on. The head shaking is within the normal range pretty much as far as I see.

    I tend to agree with Old Hen that there's likely an irritant of some sort this hen is trying to shake off. If it was something in the ear, she'd be scratching it. Are there spider webs where the chickens hang out? It would be something like that.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yay!! Huge Kudos!! Bravo!! Had to applaud your pragmatic thinking.

    Hard to say what or why, sometimes we have to wait and see.
    If she's eatingdrinkingpooping ok and active as normal...just keep observing.
     
  7. Turbinado

    Turbinado Just Hatched

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    Thank you both for your replies. There are a few spiderwebs in and around the coop. I gave her a good rub/look over again and don't see or feel anything. Here's another video today of her and the others acting normal. I'm holding off on any interventions until I get the more positive idea what's going on if anything. I did make them a nice dust bath of sand last night, we'll see if they decide to use it instead of the dry dust that's in their run.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think you have anything to worry about.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree, I think she's fine.
     

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