Feather disease/mites/molting???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CrazyerThanAverage, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. CrazyerThanAverage

    CrazyerThanAverage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Oro Valley, AZ
    Needless to say, I am new to having chickens and need some help knowing if I have a problem with one of them. I got six chickens in late June. The one with the feather problem, named Red, is a standard sized Rhode Island Red. I was told she was around 6 months old when I got her, and she started laying about a month later. In early August I saw a little "fuzziness" on her back where the tail attaches. Like the fuzzy under feathers were showing through. It has continued to get worse and now she has a lot of broken off feathers. She is acting normal, eating well, and continuing to lay. None of the other chickens are lossing any of their feathers or getting "fuzzy." Red is near the top of the pecking order, so I don't think the others are doing it to her. Any advice on what might be going on and what, if anything, I should/can do about it would be greatly appreciated!

    Red, 10 AUG, with the "fuzziness" just starting to show.
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    24 AUG - The "fuzziness" is spreading.
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    20 SEP - Big fuzzy, broken feather area. The missing long tail feathers are from a separate incident involving my mother-in-law's visiting dog. Poor Red!
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    20 SEP - Closer views. Best I could get..she is camera shy and fast moving!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Do you have a rooster mating with her? If not, have you visually inspected her for lice/mites? Finally, has she been losing feathers, as in a moult?
     
  3. CrazyerThanAverage

    CrazyerThanAverage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Oro Valley, AZ
    No roosters around, just ladies.

    I don't know what a molt looks like, but the feathers on the back by the tail are the only feathers showing any problems. (Other than the tail feathers that the dog ripped out!) All the rest of her feathers are healthy looking, seem firmly attached, and I haven't been finding red feathers on the coop floor.

    I have not inspected closely for lice/mites, but I am willing to give it a try. What should I expect to see? Something tiny running around under the feathers or on the skin?
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    This should help. http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html Lice are basically white in color (or thereabouts) and they can crawl fast, whereas mites are darker in color and slow movers. Especially check around the vent area and under the wings....a magnifying glass helps, both are tiny bugs.
     
  5. CrazyerThanAverage

    CrazyerThanAverage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Oro Valley, AZ
    Thanks! Great web site! I'll go hunt up one of the kids magnifying glasses and take a look. I don't think Red is going to like this. I'd better take her some grapes to take her mind off it.
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    If you get the chance, check all your chickens. Lice/mites can spread to your other chickens...good luck.
     
  7. CrazyerThanAverage

    CrazyerThanAverage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Oro Valley, AZ
    I finally managed to get a good look at Red. (I think she knew something was up and was hiding.) I didn't see anything by her vent, but the bottom part of the bad looking feathers look like they have light brown sand in them. It looks a lot like the mite egg picture on the site you included. So now I need to go find some Sevin. All the other ladies I can catch look clean. Thanks for the help! I'm sure Red will appreciate not having mites...once she gets over being "bagged."
     

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