Feather loss on neck/vent area - tried everything, need help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sarasaurus89, May 12, 2016.

  1. Sarasaurus89

    Sarasaurus89 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2015

    For the past 6 months my bluebell hen Betty has been bald on her neck/ears and also has a bald area around her vent which looks quite sore. She is eating normally and laying extremely well.

    I've tried a variety of things, none of which seem to be working.

    - Initially I tried DE powder twice per week.
    - After that, I applied Beaphar Anti-Parasite Spot-on twice within the designated application times.
    - After that I've tried Harkers Ivermectin (the one for pigeons).

    I've washed her vent area and tried to keep it clean, as she did have a build up of poo. As i've suspected feather plucking I have also been spraying her bum and neck (carefully) every night with Nettex anti-pecking spray.

    She has some pin feathers coming through in both areas, but the skin on her neck looks quite flaky and sometimes red.

    I have three chickens in total and the other two are showing no symptoms. (One of my other hens is plucking feathers from her sister's back, but that is being controlled with the anti-pecking spray). I feel awful for Betty, she looks a mess! They are also booked in to chicken boarding next week while we are on holiday, and I'm worried that the lady won't accept her as she looks like something from an RSPCA advert! [​IMG]

    Any other thoughts on what it could be causing the feather loss? There are absolutely no signs of mites or lice on her, unless they are under her skin and so invisible to the naked eye.
  2. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 10, 2013
    My Coop
    Could the other hens be bullying her?
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    In the US we can buy Nutsock Cream to use on irritated areas to prevent pecking. It can be made yourself at home by using powdered sulfur, pine oil, and oil or petroleum jelly. It smells and tastes bad to the chickens, but is antibacterial and antifungal, and is opaque to hide the red. Menthol muscle pain ointment can also be used to help prevent pecking. We also can use gentian violet or BluKote to color the areas blue and that can help to disguise the red skin.
  4. Sarasaurus89

    Sarasaurus89 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2015

    Thanks for the replies. There is one chicken that is definitely pulling feathers, but not on the neck. Anti-pecking spray has been putting her off and she mostly pulls feathers on the back anyway. I can see some pin feathers coming through on her neck, very slowly. They have been poking through for two weeks or so but still haven't turned into feathers.

    I have bought some mite spray containing permethrin to try in between applications of ivermectin. I'm worried i'm using so many different treatments she'll start glowing soon!! Something has to work eventually!

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