8 Years
Jul 2, 2011
I have a small Wyandotte bantam, Chicken, who is very weak. She got scaly leg very badly when she was young, and has lost all the scales on her leg. She's still recovering from it, although her friend (and probably clutchmate), who also got it quite badly, recovered very quickly and has been completely better for some time.
More recently she got favus her comb, and then on her whole head. She went bald, and it carried on down her neck. It was bad by the time we worked out what it is - I was treating her feet and legs for very bad scaly leg at the time and thought the mites had got into her comb, being quite inexperienced with chickens >.<

She is about two years old now.

This description of favus from Organicvet might be useful, as Chicken's condition matches it exactly, except for the 'sprinkled flour':
"The first symptoms include the development of lesions on non-feathered skin, such as the lower leg, comb and wattle. Some loss of feathers and skin scales may occur although there are normally no significant signs.
The condition arises through the invasion by the T. megninii of the corpus lutuem of the skin. Lesions first develop on the comb and then the fungus may spread to produce white spots, giving the appearance of sprinkled flour. As the disease spreads concentrically, the white spots begin to scale off to give an appearance of a wrinkled crust. Although birds can recover from this, the fungus may spread to the feathered regions. When this happens, the feathers may fall out in patches and thickened, crusty skin develops around the feather follicles. These may develop as depressions and are often referred to as "favus cups""

Here is a picture of Chicken when completely bald:

This is one of her common positions, although she does it a bit less now. Although it's a bad photo you can see her feathers are growing back but her skin is getting more scabby:

She did this all the time, especially when someone walked past, and I thought she might have something else wrong with her. It seems to be a submissive position, but none of the other chickens have ever done it.
The close-up picture of her head won't load.


- the skin on her head and down her neck is very hard and crusty, with lots of lumps. Where her feathers are growing back it's very thick and lumpy.

- she's getting a bald patch further down her neck now, and around the ventral area feathers were growing back but still seem to be falling out. Her feathers are very thin and dull, and she hardly ever preens and never has a dust bath.

- she opens her beak widely and points her head towards the sky as if trying to clear something from her throat. The other chickens do it, but rarely, and she used to do it every minute or so.

- her nostrils are completely blocked and swollen. She has to stop for breath while eating or drinking, and she hardly ever eats or drinks by herself.

- her beak got far too long, at least twice as long as it should be. When I could finally trim it it seemed to be deformed, flaky and crumbly. It was also very soft, although her egg shells showed no lack of calcium. Her claws also seem to be deformed, some are bent round the wrong way.

- she has not laid an egg for several months now, and before that one every other day. She seemed to lay through the worst of the scaly leg and the beginning of the favus.

- her ears are blocked with yellow, stinking gunk which comes out in lumps. If I clear it out one day, more will be there the next.

- she stinks, due to the lumps of white scabby skin all over her. This improves if I give her a 'manual dustbath' morning and afternoon several days in a row, but will come back as soon as it stops.

- the top of her right eyelid seems to be getting lifted up by the scabbiness on top of her head. She looks very surprised from that side.

- she will sit still in one place for hours. Her feet hurt because they are very scabby too.

- the skin on her feet is very flaky and comes off all the time.


This is what I've done to her:
1) athlete's foot cream (with Clotrimidazole and Ivermectin, I think) on her head and chest where the fungus had spread. This worked on her chest but not on her head.
2) regular dust baths to make her stink less, dislodge some of the scabs and encourage her to preen.
3) a small amount of orange flavoured oral fungicide for HUMANS every day, because my dad said it would work. I don't like giving it to her, but until now I haven't been able to convince him to let me buy some poultry fungicide.
4) 0.5ml of Net-Tex Poultry Nutri-Drops a day. Started off at 2ml a day, stopped for a week, and then back on at 0.5ml. Been doing this for about a month.

I take her away from the other chickens and feed her as much as possible every day. She was just starting to get stronger and heavier. A few days ago we had to go away for four days. Now she's back to skin and bones.

Before all of this she was a normal, healthy, active, very beautiful little bantam, bigger than the other Wyandotte. Her feathers were glossy chestnut and black, her rose comb was bright red, her beak was hard and pointed and her claws were sharp. She laid perfect little eggs a little lighter than the others almost every day.
This is all my fault for not knowing what to do in the first place. By wanting chickens, I nearly killed her. She was one of my first. I have to make her better. Please help.

I need some fungicide, preferably to be given orally. What would you suggest?
A vet is not an option.
'Termination' is not an option either, thank you.


Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
"she opens her beak widely and points her head towards the sky as if trying to clear something from her throat. The other chickens do it, but rarely, and she used to do it every minute or so."

Do you think she has gapeworm? Or is it related to the stuff in her nostrils?

This is the only thing I thought of to offer - I don't have experience with chicken fungus.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida
You might try miconazole put on topically rather than clotrimidazole. Lotrimin anti fungal spray contains miconazole. I want to caution you that when sprayed onto the skin, it is very cold and the chicken wont like the sudden feeling of coldness and will try to escape. Avoid spraying it near the eyes and nostrils. You could wrap her snugly in a towel to contain her while you spray the lotrimin onto your fingers and rub it onto the affected areas. You have to be quick though, it quickly dries and forms a white powderish coating.
As for her ears, lay her on one side with a towel wrapped snuggly around her. Use an eyedropper with hydrogen peroxide in it and put a few drops in her ears. They will bubble up. Then use a Q-tip too gently swab the ear canal. You might have to remove some of the cotton on the tip of the Q-tip for it to fit inside her ear canal. Do not go in too deep into the ear canal, just enough to absorb and swab the hydrogen peroxide. Next, pack both ears with neosporin and release her. Just leave the neosporin in her ears. You might have to repeat this later down the road. Goop or wax from the ears is usually an indication of basically several things....mites, a respiratory disease, or a heck of alot of dirt causing an infection...perhaps from dust bathing. Good luck.


8 Years
Jul 2, 2011
Thank you all for your replies, sorry, I didn't see them. dawg53, that's a very useful comment and I'll remember that if I ever have this problem again. She's dead now, I killed her, and it's so much better. I hated to see her in the garden every day, just standing there, head drooping, looking so miserable. She was so brave, and I'm so glad she lived because now I know much more than I did before.


8 Years
Jul 2, 2011
henney penney - YES! It was gapeworm! Why couldn't I have seen it earlier? It's the most obvious thing. Your chicken most likely has it too. Easy to get rid of, I think, with wormers.
Thank you! I wish I'd seen your post earlier!

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