Delaware Hen Shaking Head More Than Usual

Turbinado

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2017
3
0
10
Bellevue, WA
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!

 

oldhenlikesdogs

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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.
 

Turbinado

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2017
3
0
10
Bellevue, WA
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.

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.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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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.
 

azygous

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11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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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.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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.... but I really don't want to use it unless I can positively ID mites or ticks.
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.
 

Turbinado

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2017
3
0
10
Bellevue, WA
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.
 

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