Diagnose this feather problem (pictures)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by paeskie, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. paeskie

    paeskie In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2011
    One of my five hens looks awful. At first I thought it was a late molt, but now I don't know what it is. She has quills, with much of the feathers stripped from them. I don't see her--or any of the others--picking at her feathers. There are a few patches of pink, irritated-looking skin. I don't see anything I recognize as mites or mite eggs, but mites are my best guess. Then again, none of the other hens have developed any problems. She doesn't act sick, though she isn't laying. Do any of you recognize what is going on here, and do you have any advice on treatment? Maybe it is just a molt, and I don't have enough experience to know.
    Thank you.

  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    The bare shafts are not normal for a moult. I'd think feather eating parasites are most likely. They can be very hard to spot though from what I hear. I don't have any personal experience with those though.

    Best wishes.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    There are actually feather mites, and they eat feathers so that would probably explain it. Mites will hide during the day, in the cracks and crevaces of a hen house, so maybe that's why you aren't seeing them. Do you see some hard white-ish stuff stuck on the feather quills? That's a sure sign of mites. Better handle that quickly, or the others are sure to get them too....

    The only thing I know to do is to totally gut your hen house. Really sweept it out down to the bare wood. Powder the heck out of it with poultry dust. Powder each bird thoroughly. Repeat after exactly two weeks to kill any baby mites that have hatched.....

    Maybe someone knows an easier way to kill them.....It's a real pain in the tush to use the powder, but it does work well.

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